NWO Grant for Size-tuneable Nanopores and Living Building Materials

NWO Grant for Size-tuneable Nanopores and Living Building Materials

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded grants to 28 promising research projects in the field of Exact and Natural Sciences (ENW), including two at the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Delft University of Technology. The grants of up to 50,000 euros are part of the Open Competition ENW-XS. Eva Bertosin receives the grant for her work on nanopores and Kui Yu is awarded for his research on living building materials.

Dynamic gatekeepers: size-tuneable nanpores for selective transport across membranes

Many cell types have channels in their cell membrane, allowing them to communicate with their environment efficiently and selectively. The ability to artificially recreate these, would represent a huge technological advance in nanotechnology and synthetic biology, with potential applications in nanomedicine. Inspired by the remarkable properties of these biological channels, Bertosin wants to make selective and size-tuneable nanopores of DNA, which can function as synthetic transport channels through membranes. With such a system, we can study protein transport, build an artificial cell nucleus, develop new drug delivery systems and develop compartments for controlled chemical reactions.

3D printing of building materials produced by bacteria

The houses we live in are generally made of reinforced concrete, which requires extremely high temperatures and complicated steps. To better control energy consumption and reduce environmental pollution, a sustainable processing method for producing the next generation of building materials is needed. For inspiration, we turned to bacteria, which secrete various enzymes that promote chemical reactions in mild conditions, producing organic fibres and inorganic materials at lower, sustainable temperatures. Yu aims to use a combination of 3D printing techniques and bacteria induced biomineralisation methods to produce strong, tough and durable building materials.


Read the original article on Delft University of Technology.