Chemical engineering at the intersection of nanotechnology and biology

Gang Ruan*, Jessica O. Winter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Bionanotechnology emerged from the study of protein and DNA folding, which involves chemical engineering thermodynamics, and from the efforts of biochemical engineers to control cellular functions using a combination of biology and chemical engineering process control. A recent advance in bionanotechnology is the development of DNA-based machines and DNA origami. These superstructures can take a variety of forms and can be designed to hold cargo drugs or proteins. Christina Smolke, associate chair for education and associate professor of bioengineering, is producing biosensors based on RNA molecules and their genetic machinery. Angela Belcher and her colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are using viruses and virus-based proteins to assemble nanomaterials into larger superstructures. Shuming Nie, the Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Faculty Chair in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, is researching on gold nanoparticles that can both target and image cancerous tumors during surgery through surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Engineering Progress
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


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