Fields of expertise
The goal of the Programmable Biomaterials Lab is to understand the molecular design rules behind selective multivalent interactions at the bio-interface. We use DNA as engineering tool to explore the importance of structural mechanics and precise control of valency and patterns on directional interactions and self-assembly.
BiographyMaartje Bastings is a Dutch biomaterials engineer who specializes in the design of DNA-based supramolecular materials that integrate the concept of dynamic reciprocity, a two-way action-reaction process, between soft matter and cells. Over the last 10 years, prof. Bastings has emerged as a specialist in bridging supramolecular materials with cell biology, always taking an engineering approach with a focus on biophysical quantification of interactions.
Her Programmable Biomaterials Laboratory uses DNA to create uniform and dynamic nanomaterials, which combined with biophysical characterization allow to unravel the existence of patterns and geometric constraints in natures’ rules of self-organization. Using the immune system as a biological target, materials are designed that present exceptional precision and specificity in functional interactions, allowing life-like communication at the biointerface. Crossing supramolecular materials engineering with biophysics and immune biology creates a research space with the potential to advance the impact of DNA-based nanomaterials to truly become integrated with cellular action in a dynamic reciprocal fashion. Besides fundamental insights in molecular self-assembly and the mysteries of activation cascades in life, these supramolecular materials will have impact for the development of more sensitive diagnostics and can function as specialized components in future vaccines.
Teaching & PhD
Materials Science and Engineering