What are nanoparticles?

They are particles which are a 1000 times smaller than the width of a hair.
Nanoparticles come in all shapes and can be made from various materials.

1-100 nm
1-100 nm

They have a variety of applications, for example, in cancer therapy, where they can produce heat that kills tumor cells.

And how can you make them?

There are different ways of producing these nanoparticles




but these production methods all have their downsides.

We found a SynBio solution:

We designed a biological production method that can be sustainable and cost-effective.

How does it work?

We took DNA from metal-resistant microorganisms,

and transferred it to a model organism for industrial applications: Escherichia coli.



Metallothionein MT

The three proteins that E. coli produced with this DNA can be used to produce nanoparticles in a cell-free system.






The synthesis conditions in this system were optimised both experimentally and by using a model.

What is special about our nanoparticles?

They are not just any nanoparticle! They have special abilities due to their properties.

Our nanoparticles can convert light to heat which makes them optimal for photothermal cancer therapy.

In this therapy, nanoparticles specifically target the tumor. The tumor is then exposed to a near-infrared laser. The nanoparticles convert the light into heat and this heat kills the tumor cells.

So with Binanox, we designed and optimized a biological production system for nanoparticles which can be used in cancer therapy.

That sounds really cool, right?

But also really complicated. Learn more about how and why we did this on the different pages of our wiki.