We are interested in the interplay between structure and mechanics in biological molecules and materials. I have two main lines of research: (i) the study of mechanical processes at the cell membrane, and (ii) the production of biomineralized composite materials.
Mechanical processes at the cell membrane: Investigating the response of individual biomolecules and cells in response to external physical/chemical stimuli helps us to understand the molecular mechanisms driving biological processes. We design, develop and use biophysical assays to track dynamical cellular processes occurring at the cell membrane. Collaborations: Andreas Engel, Bertus Beaumont (BN, TU Delft), Daniel Tam (Lab for Aero & Hydrodynamics, TU Delft).
Fabrication of biomineralized composite materials: Most living organisms use elements in their environment to fabricate composite materials. Due to their intricate and hierarchical structure, biocomposite materials present improved material properties when compared with their pure inorganic counterparts. We use microorganisms to fabricate biomimetic composite materials combining high stiffness and toughness. Collaborations: Anne Meyer (TU Delft), An-Wu Xu (USTC, China), Santiago Garcia (TU Delft), Filipe Natalio (Weizmann Institute, Israel).