Bionanotechnology and Nanomedicine

The direct result of interdisciplinary research is the creation of new disciplines. Researchers at the Birck Nanotechnology center are leading on the cutting edge of research that is pioneering the new foundations of nanobiotechnology. At the juncture of the new century fundamental biosciences are providing the framework for technology and engineering at the nanoscale. This has the potential to play a role in solving many of the grand challenges that we face in food security, environmental solvency, and meeting future energy needs. In particular there are significant advances in nanomedicine that will improve the quality of life, as well as to provide an engine for future economic development. Our work in this field includes new nanomaterial therapy technologies for cancer, advanced approaches for nanoscale drug delivery, nanobiosensors for diabetes, and advanced nanodevices for diagnosis and detection of pathogens and disease for personalized medicine. We have recently established 3D Cell Culture User Facility which provides in-vitro environment that more closely matches the human body for bio-nano and drug screening applications. BNC is home to LyoHUB for advanced freeze drying for pharmacy and food applications.

The BioMEMS and Medical Microsystem research at the Birck Nanotechnology Center is an internationally recognized translational effort to address important clinical problems. Our research combines both hard (silicon) and soft (polymeric) micromachining techniques (from cleanroom micro-scale fabrication to low-cost laser and inkjet printing) to design and develop novel biomedical sensors, actuators, and microsystems. These include implantable microdevices for cancer treatment, flexible bioelectronics for smart wound management, and drug delivery systems. Recently, we have initiated a significant research program using ultra-soft elastomers (for conforming to tissue/organs), functional polymers with unique surface properties (for automatic response to changing microenvironments), as well as paper and fabrics to manufacture inexpensive, wearable, and disposable diagnostics/therapeutics. We collaborate closely with life sciences researchers from the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Pharmacy at Purdue as well as with clinicians at the Indiana University School of Medicine.