A new group at INM develops Bioprogrammable Materials
In January 2020, a new junior research group around Dr. Shrikrishnan Sankaran has started at INM. Under the title “Bioprogrammable Materials” it will exploit synthetic biology approaches to engineer novel functional materials with a focus on biomedical applications. These materials contain embedded microbes as active components, which are genetically programmed to perform smart and beneficial functions, such as detection of pathogens or drug release. These functions can also be regulated by external stimuli such as light, temperature or chemical inducers.
“Our programmable materials are of great interest, for example, for applications in the field of biosensing or for novel implants that can release drugs in the long term,” explains Shrikrishnan Sankaran. The bioengineer has been working at INM as a postdoc since 2016. After his studies at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani at Goa, India, he worked on genetically modified proteins and bacteria during his doctoral studies at the University of Twente, The Netherlands.
“With his expertise in bacterial genetic engineering, Dr. Sankaran expands INM’s toolbox for materials design. His group opens a new research direction and collaboration opportunities for us,” explains Prof. Aránzazu del Campo, scientific director of the INM. The research of the new group reinforces INM’s profile in the field of biomedical materials, and bridges materials science at the institute with research in drug development and therapeutics on the Campus of Saarland University.
Your contact at INM:
Dr. Shrikrishnan Sankaran
Head of Junior Research Group „Bioprogrammable Materials“
INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, situated in Saarbrücken, is an internationally leading centre for materials research. INM conducts research and development to create new materials – for today, tomorrow and beyond. Research at INM is performed in three fields: Nanocomposite Technology, Interface Materials, and Bio Interfaces. INM is an institute of the Leibniz Association and has about 260 employees.