The group of Functional Nanomaterials of Organized Structure is focusing on the development of functional and/or multifunctional nanomaterials, mainly liposomes and dendritic polymers, giving emphasis on their biological applications. It is primarily focused on their synthesis, characterization and evaluation as targeted and controlled release drug delivery systems, or as antibacterial/antifungal agents. The group is also involved in the utilization of functionalized dendritic polymers for the development of advanced functional hybrid organic/inorganic nanoparticles, hybrid or nanocomposite carbon-based materials and composite xerogels and hydrogels exploiting their potential in several application areas including drug delivery, antimicrobial coatings, 3D tissue engineering, catalysis, and water purification.
Specifically, the main research areas are:
- Dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers as targeted drug delivery nanocarriers
- Functional liposomes as drug delivery systems
- Functionalized carbon-based nanomaterials as drug delivery systems or as bioimaging agents
- Functional composite nanomaterials as antimicrobial systems
- Biomimetic synthesis of hybrid organic/inorganic nanoparticles
- 3D Scaffolds for bone tissue engineering
- Superhydrophobic and oleophobic nanoparticles
- Functional nanocomposite coatings for marine and aviation applications
- Thermotropic liquid crystals and liquid crystal-nanoparticle composites
- Composite Dendritic polymer-based hydrogels and xerogels
- Water purification employing dendritic polymers
The systems developed in our laboratory are characterized by a variety of physicochemical methods including NMR, FTIR, UV-Vis and fluorescence, dynamic light scattering, multi-angle static light scattering and zeta-potential, as well as SEM, AFM and TEM microscopies. Cell toxicity and sub-cellular localization are studied on various cell lines. Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties were assessed against various bacterial and fungal strains.