In the BioNanotechnology and Microbiology Lab we are interested in studying the biological mechanisms involved in bacterial biosynthesis of metal nanoparticles (Cu, Li, Cd, Te, Se, Ag, In, among others), with special emphasis in fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots). One of our research goals is to understand the biomineralization process that allows the bioproduction of nanocrystals of Biotechnological interest in bacterial strains inhabiting different extreme environments (Antarctica, Atacama desert, Salar flats, Dead Sea, Volcanoes, Mining sites, Uyuny salar, among others).
We are also interested in developing new eco-friendly biochemical methods for the production of nanoparticles based on the biomolecules or synthetic conditions determined in bacterial biosynthesis (“biomimetic” methods).
In addition, part of our fundamental research focuses on generate biotechnological applications using our biological or biomimetic nanoparticles, such us; manufacturing of third and fourth generation solar cells (QDs Sensitized Solar Cells and “Biological Solar Cells”), fluorescent detection of specific antigens (multiplexing), detection of Cu (nM) in complex samples such as bacterial growth media, to develop bioremediation strategies of heavy metals and hydrocarbons, cell targeting in biomedicine, generation of next generation batteries based on Li nanoparticles, photodynamic therapy, use of nanoparticles as antimicrobial agents, among many others.
Our laboratory have many active scientific collaborations with laboratories and research centers from EE.UU., Perú, Ireland, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and UK, among others. Due to these partnerships our students have the opportunity to perform short research stays, as well as conducting scientific expeditions to extreme environments for isolating new microorganisms.
In addition, we work in strong collaboration with different foundations and biotech companies.