The Department of Bionanoscience focuses on the fundamental understanding of biological processes, from the level of single molecules to the full complexity of living cells. This research provides fascinating insight in the molecular mechanisms that lead to cellular function. Furthermore it enables the in vitro bottom-up construction of cellular machinery and it impacts applications ranging from biomolecular diagnostics to novel antibiotics and targeted nanomedicine. The department features a strongly multidisciplinary and international team of scientists, whose research areas include single-molecule biophysics, synthetic biology, as well as (quantitative) cell biology.
Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft Receives Major New Funding
The Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft will receive additional major funding to further advance its successful program in biological and quantum nanoscience.
Cells divide by ‘bricklaying on moving scaffolding’
It is the most crucial mechanism in life - the division of cells. For 25 years, it has been known that bacteria split into two by forming a Z ring at their centre. They use this to cut themselves into two daughter cells. Using advanced microscopes, researchers from the universities of Harvard, Indiana, Newcastle, and Delft have succeeded in finding out how bacteria do this. The bacteria appear to build a new cell wall working from the outside in, with the help of multiple molecular ‘bricklayers’, in about a quarter of an hour. What was completely unexpected was that the ‘bricklayers’ move along the inside of the wall under construction by ‘treadmilling’; the building of the cell wall is performed from scaffolding that is continuously being moved at the front, while at the rear it is continuously being dismantled. The scientists will be publishing an article on the topic in Science on 17 February.