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Posted: Sep 04, 2014
Saxion and University of Twente unite forces in nanotechnology research
(Nanowerk News) Dr. Peter Schön, currently programme director MESA+ in Enabling Nanotechnologies and lecturer at the faculty of Science and Technology (TNW) of the University of Twente (UT), extends his position by joining the Saxion staff as assistant professor at the Chair of NanoBioInterface.
New opportunities nanotechnology research
Peter SchönThe bridging function will open new opportunities for research projects and collaborations between MESA+ and the NanoBioInterface group. Research facilities both at Saxion and MESA+ will be used including the MESA+ NanoLab with its lab facilities of the group of G. Julius Vancso, providing world class facilities for scanning probe microscopy and soft matter research.
It also provides a unique basis for developing a joint Master curriculum in which applied nanoscience and nanotechnology will be integrated. Schön will be a main instructor and lecturer on both sides, within the Saxion and the Master curricula at the UT.
Smart disease treatment
As a chemist and chemical engineer Schön is specialized in atomic force microscopy in particular at the nanobio interface and soft matters. He has more than ten years of experience including extensive industrial experience at Bruker Nano Surfaces.
“With the atomic force microscope (AFM) it is possible to visualize, probe and manipulate biological systems in physiological environment in action – from the cell down to the single molecule” Schön says. “The AFM has provided a great impact in life sciences and is becoming indispensable also in nanomedicine, focusing on imaging early diagnosis and drug delivery.”
Of particular interest for Schöns’ envisioned research programmes are AFM based nanodiagnosis and nanotoxicology. This matches the applied research interest of prof. Luthe, a chemist and trained toxicologist, who holds a chair in human toxicology at the University of Iowa, too. Both aim to develop methods and strategies for the detection of life threatening sicknesses. The interaction of nanoparticles with cellular structures can be studied in great detail, which provides pivotal insight into toxicity but also nanomedical aspects. In case nanoparticles are applied for smart disease treatment, for instance in hyperthermia, nanoparticles are utilized to kill cancer cells upon selective heating.
Bring technology to clinics
Schön will build on his long term international network including leading European researchers and his excellent contacts to the AFM industry. Since more than five years he is working as a group leader in the COST action European network on applications of Atomic Force Microscopy to nanomedicine and life sciences. “The central goal of the COST action is to bring the technology to the clinics”.