Engineering of Molecular NanoSystems
The EMNS Lab is part of the Chemistry and Materials Science Department of the Brussels School of Engineering.
The EMNS laboratory has extensive know-how in the experimental study of the structure, stability and dynamics of molecular complexes, and in the synthesis and functionalization of nanoparticles. Key tools: NMR, microcalorimetry and UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy.
We are currently more focused on:
- the functionalization of metallic nanoparticles with organic or biological ligands in order to develop (bio)sensors or smart materials,
- the development of micelle-based supramolecular systems for molecular recognition or catalysis in water,
- ion transport across lipid membranes using supramolecular carriers.
The Laboratory of Organic Chemistry is active in organic chemistry in a broad sense, with research programs going from the development of new processes in organic chemistry and copper catalysis, the synthesis of bioactive/natural products, medicinal chemistry and the design, synthesis and study of molecular receptors derived from calixarenes. We are indeed interested in the synthesis of molecular receptors derived from calixarenes and the study of their host-guest properties toward neutral or charged species (metal ions, ammonium ions, anions). Macrocyclization reactions are used as the key-step for the syntheses of the receptors. The molecular recognition mechanisms are studied thanks to NMR spectroscopy. The receptors are then applied in the self-assembly of molecular objects, in chiral recognition, in catalysis, in surface modification, and in the design of modified electrodes or fluorescent molecular probes. Another part of our research is focused on the development of new processes and reagents in organic synthesis. One of the main area of research of this program is based on the use of copper catalysis and copper-mediated transformations. More specifically, we have been involved in the use of copper-catalysis in the synthesis of natural and/or bioactive products, for the development of new processes and reagents in organic synthesis and, more recently, in the development of new copper-catalyzed polymerization processes, all these research programs being strongly interconnected. We are in addition involved in the development of new processes based on new reagents or chemical intermediates.Moreover, the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry develops the synthesis of molecules of biological interest in collaboration with other groups from academia and industry.
Nanomaterials for sensing applications
Nano-bioconjugates combine the exceptional properties of nanomaterials, such as the LSPR band of gold and silver nanostructures, with those of biological macromolecules. They are valuable tools which can lead to sensors with extreme selectivity and sensitivity or to smart Drug Delivery Systems and theranostic agents.