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The Bertucci Lab aims to leverage programmable biomolecular interactions for the creation of innovative multiscale tools in biosensing and precision medicine. By integrating the inherent principles of biological systems with the rational design techniques of chemistry and materials science, we operate at the core intersection of DNA nanotechnology, analytical chemistry, synthetic biology, and biomaterials design. Our efforts are directed towards delivering programmable technologies that have the potential to significantly advance healthcare.

Programmable Nucleic Acid Nanotechnologies

Harnessing the principles of functional DNA nanotechnology, we design molecular devices that integrate sensing and response capabilities. Our primary objective is to control and engineer nucleic acid-based processes at the molecular and nanoscale, enabling the creation of programmable bioartificial systems. Our specific research interest lies in exploring novel strategies for synthetic communication between nucleic acid systems and functional proteins, utilizing CRISPR-Cas technologies, aptamers, and molecular switches. These advancements pave the way for the development of advanced smart diagnostics, targeted therapeutics, and synthetic biology applications.

Biomolecular Sensors

We are dedicated to designing and constructing cutting-edge biosensors and biosensing platforms tailored to precise biomolecular targets. By harnessing the principles of DNA nanotechnology in bioanalytical chemistry, our goal is to create exceptionally sensitive and specific platforms where nucleic acids serve as versatile probes, translators, and transducers. A key focus of our research lies in the development of activity-driven nucleic acid biosensors for target proteins, allowing for the conversion of their biological activity into inputs for designer nucleic acid-based systems. These innovative systems encompass DNA reactions, CRISPR-Cas technologies, and molecular switches.

Hybrid Bionanomaterials

Our research is driven by the fascinating opportunity to finely and deliberately tune the physicochemical and biological properties of nanomaterials for applications in precision medicine. With a specific focus on hybrid organic-inorganic nanomaterials and their combination with nucleic acid nanotechnology, we are dedicated to developing versatile platforms capable of accommodating multiple functionalities. Our primary objective is the advancement of targeted nanomaterials for highly efficient drug delivery, alongside the engineering of supramolecular nanoparticles exhibiting diverse biological functions. We place a strong emphasis on the exploration of silica and organosilica nanomaterials for biomedical applications, where we investigate their potential to accommodate and release functional nucleic acids.