Our research focuses on synthesizing novel cavitands, and their complexes with metal, photoactives, and drugs. Preorganization of cavitands in a bowl shape with upper- and lower-rim functionality, offers a favorable environment for guest interaction and inclusion. In particular, we are interested in rationalizing the principles of self-assembly, templation and nucleation, through combined solid and solution phase studies.
The mobility and involvement of solvent molecules are different in crystals and in gels. We are particularly interested in studying the nucleation and equilibriums involved in the following hierarchical assembly processes:
- One-dimensional growth of gel fiber
- Crystallization of nano-assemblies in space (three-dimensional growth)
- Binary nucleation process in a supramolecular gel phase crystallization (multi-dimensional grwoth)
We utilize small angle neutron scattering (SANS) technique to study the size and shape of self assembled systems (colloid, microemulsion, fibrillar assembly, metal nanocapsule, polymer), in solution.
Also, we use neutron reflectometry technique to estimate the penetration of an active in free state and in complexed (to our synthesized host) state into a model skin membrane.
In our group, we exploit the principles of Crystal Engineering to design new functional materials. In particular, we are interested in the encapsulation of photoactives and active ingredient compounds by non-covalent molecular assemblies. This includes capture of substrates in molecular nanocapsules or nanotubules assembled by means of hydrogen bonding or non-covalent interactions.
Soft Multiporous Framework
We aim to exploit macrocycle-derived supramolecular gel network as an inexpensive, synthetically tuneable and efficient, multiporous system for selective gas sorption and separation.
To develop cosmetics that are safe and effective on human skin, manufacturers must have a deep understanding and knowledge of the chemistry involved in the formulations and their mechanisms of action. Our research focuses on integrating principles of modern biophysics into materials that would define the next generation of this field. We assess structure-property relationships to develop novel skin care, oral care and hair care products. In addition, we probe into mechanisms of delivery and deposition actives onto the skin/hair and elucidate the parameters to control them. We construct novel nanometric delivery vehicles, based on the principles of self-assembly and molecular recognition.