- Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering
In the Chou lab, we are interested in developing self-assembling molecular technologies to solve outstanding biomedical challenges. Throughout evolution, Nature has generated molecular machines with functionalities that are sufficiently sophisticated to "boot up" a living cell. Inspired by these examples, the central focus of our research is to identify design rules and develop engineering methods for constructing artificial self-assembling molecular machines that rival Nature's machines, and can operate more robustly, both inside and outside of cells, by virtue of their de novo design. Realizing this goal involves achieving both mastery of "hardware" (i.e. molecular structure) and "software" (i.e. molecular circuitry). Towards this end, our lab is keen on expanding our expertise in DNA nanotechnology with complementary techniques in chemistry, protein engineering, and computational design to construct integrated molecular systems. These de novo designed systems are being applied to problems in bio-sensing, disease diagnostics, and therapy.