Involving disciplines such as Colloid Science and Soft Matter Physics, Biophysics and Biochemistry
"What I cannot create, I do not understand "
Synthetic biology can be generally classified as either "the design and fabrication of biological components and systems that do not already exist in the natural world" or "the re-design and fabrication of existing biological systems". Both approaches share the common aim to tackle biological problems that cannot be explained using the traditional biological analysis and observation by they require the engineering of surrogate models. These are typically synthetic and hence enable a more intimate connection between structure (both molecular and supramolecular) and function. At the same time, the same models can be re-purposed to specific engineering problems such as a new ways to synthesise molecules or a better way to deliver drugs. The former approach is indeed well embedded in our research ethos and we are applying our molecular engineering tools to re-engineer complex biological functions such as compartmentalised reactions (reactive vesicles), virus super-symmetric assembly (synthetic virology), and chemotaxis (active vesicles).