Assembly and dynamics of macromolecular and nanoparticle complexes

Exploring and emulating the complexity encountered in self-organizing biological matter has been a central theme of our research program. In terms of scope, our activities fit into four main categories: 

  1. Development of new imaging tools and techniques, for in situ single nanoparticle growth, optical stress in nanoparticle clusters, and mechanical stress in viruses.

  2. Work on fundamental questions relating to bio-inspired self-assembly, e.g. How to achieve bottom-up, efficient three-dimensional organization, controlled at multiple scales? How do we reach beyond the crystalline state in metamaterials? What physical principles govern morphogenesis in self-organized biological systems such as viruses?

  3. Applied research, explorations in bio-enabled synthesis of metamaterials, energy transduction at nanoscale, and the biomedical field.

  4. Outreach, demo projects and opportunities for kids aged 8 to 80.


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The Dragnea group gratefully acknowledges support throughout the years from:


DOE Basic Energy Sciences

The Army Research Office

The Human Frontier Science Program


NIH - NIGMS program

NSF - CHE, DMR, and CBET programs