Main Research Lines
- Design and development of synthetic strategies for the production of complex nanoparticles
- Functionalisation with specific relevant (bio)molecules
- The study of their physicochemical and fundamental properties
In 2015 the Inorganic Nanoparticles Group worked on several of its ongoing projects on the design and synthesis of inorganic NPs for their interactions with biological systems and energy harvesting (see projects list). Two projects were completed in 2015: TUNANOCRYSTAL (Desarrollo de estrategias para síntesis de nanocristales inorgánicos multi-componente complejos con propiedades físico-químicas ajustables from Spanish Government - Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad) and QNANO (A pan-European infrastructure for quality in nanomaterials safety testing from European Comission - FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES).
Nanoparticles are engineered and designed in view of their applicability in materials science, catalysis, energy harvesting, environmental remediation and nanobiomedicine and nanotoxicology, among others. This is achieved by controlling the size, shape and structure of their inorganic core, and selectively linking active molecules to the nanoparticle surface, which allows them to selectively interact with specific systems (materials, biological, environmental etc.).
In this regard, the main scientific objectives of the group include:
I. Design and development of synthetic strategies for the production of complex nanoparticles (focusing on complex multicomponent and hollow nanoparticles comprising different families of metal, metal oxides, semiconductor oxides and semiconductors).
II. Functionalisation with specific relevant (bio)molecules and materials (core-shell NPs, heterodimmers…) in order to interface the NP in the desired system and increase NP functionalities.
III. The study of their physicochemical and fundamental properties. As a result, we design new drug-delivery platforms, advanced catalysts to improve energy-chemical processes, optimize NP’s features to enhance the production of hydrogen or boost the Biogas production. We also focus on the precise characterisation of the obtained nanoparticles in terms of their reactivity (aggregation, corrosion and dissolution) and physicochemical properties, as prepared, during and after use.
Víctor F. Puntes
ICREA Research Prof Víctor F. Puntes’ work spans the full breadth of nanoparticle research: synthesis, conjugation and characterisation of inorganic nanoparticles; nanotoxicology and nanosafety; and myriad applications for sectors including medicine and the environment.
Enhanced detection with spectral imaging fluorescence microscopy reveals tissue- and cell-type-specific compartmentalization of surface-modified polystyrene nanoparticles
Kenesei K., Murali K., Czéh Á., Piella J., Puntes V., Madarász E. Journal of Nanobiotechnology (2016)