• Kotov LAB

  • Supraparticles

  • Helical Assembly

  • Kirigami Optics

  • Artificial nacre

  • Gold nanoparticle composite

Our goal is to understand the multifaced roles of nanostructures in Nature.

Practical implementations will follow.

Welcome to Biomimetic Nanostructures!

The “building blocks” of living organisms are nanoscale in dimension; capable of spontaneous self-assembly in aqueous media, they form complex biological machinery and biomaterials with unique capabilities. Abiotic inorganic nanoparticles reveal surprisingly many similarities of physical, chemical, and biological behavior with their biological counterparts. They can also produce intricate dynamic assemblies and replicates of hierarchical biological composites. This resemblance emerges because the forces that govern the solution dynamics of these two seemingly different classes of nanoscale structures have a lot in common. We explore both the similarities and differences between these two vast classes of nanostructures and utilize this knowledge to solve pressing technological problems.

Examples of engineering implementations of biomimetic nanostructures are abundant. For example, replication of the brick-and-mortar structure of tough iridescent seashells led to a family of biomimetic composites made from clay, graphene, cellulose, etc. The composites combine mechanical robustness, high conductivity, and rapid ion transport, which enabled the construction of a large family of energy storage and biomedical devices. The self-assembly of semiconductor and metal nanoparticles into superstructures replicating protein terminal and extended complexes afford a large family of optoelectronic materials and biomimetic catalysts.

Our current studies are aimed at the further development of experimental, theoretical, and computational toolbox of biomimetic nanostructures . More specifically, Some of the current topics in this area include chiral inorganic nanomaterials, biosimilar inorganic organelles, and pollen-like hedgehog particles. The practical reasons to undertake this research include the catalysis of ‘hard’ reactions, development of new antimicrobial agents, and biomimetic machine vision.

With appreciation of the difficulties of these problems, we have forged deep collaborations with colleagues around the globe. We value creativity, integrity, and tenacity in every person with whom we work.

Thank you for visiting our website!

Nicholas A. Kotov

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