Public lecture: Biomimetic and bioactive polymers – the next phase of health care?
In order to design and synthesize complex materials with advanced functionalities, scientists very often take inspiration from Nature. In this lecture, a few examples will be shown of such developments. One example is the use of self-assembly to create a synthetic mimic of the tobacco mosaic virus. This example just serves to demonstrate how we can make use of simple principles to manipulate the organization of molecules. Other examples will show how we can use hybrids of natural and synthetic systems to make functional assemblies that are responsive to their environment. Such hybrid systems show great promise for the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to specific sites in the body. The lecture will end with an outlook on new developments in the field of nanomedicine, i.e. the application of nanotechnology in health care.