Biomolecular NanoTechnology (BNT)


The BNT group (founded early 2009) aims at understanding some of the basic principles driving the formation of nano-sized objects and nano-structured materials that Nature has created in the course of evolution. The goal is to use biological principles as a guidance towards the design of self-assembled, multifunctional and responsive materials in which biomolecules or bio-inspired architectures are used as building blocks. Therefore we apply (macro)-molecular and supramolecular chemistry in combination with molecular biology approaches. For example, we employ protein building blocks to form nanometer-sized reactors and use the highly symmetric properties of these protein cages as scaffolds for functional materials. Techniques used in our laboratory range from synthetic chemistry and protein engineering to physical characterization using state-of-the-art facilities in the MESA+ constellation.

Our group pursues a broad range of research interests. Potential BSc or MSc projects can involve themes such as:

- Protein isolation, derivatization and assembly

- (Bio)-catalysis in nanometer confinement

- Hierarchical self-assembly of nanoparticles and other functional nano-objects

- Synthesis of novel molecular dopants for adaptive materials


Global Young Academie

Nathalie selected for membership in the Global Young Academy

Nathalie was selected as a new member of the Global Young Academy. The Global Young Academy activities focus on science and policy, education and outreach, open science, and the research environment. ... read more

Nathalie Katsonis

Nathalie joins the Editorial Board of Crystals

Nathalie has joined the Editorial Board of Crystals, an open-access journal that promotes open access publications at a moderate cost for the authors. Specifically, Nathalie will serve in the section “Liquid Crystals ... read more

ChemPhysChem special issue on molecular machines

The paper of Rindia, Wilfred, Jeroen, Melissa and Nathalie “Labelling bacterial nanocages with photo-switchable fluorophores” is accepted for publication in the ChemPhysChem special issue on molecular machines. Congratulations! ... read more

Rindia Putri

Rindia Putri (AIO/ BNT) en Wouter Vijselaar (AIO / MNF) ontmoeten wereldtop in Singapore

Vier UT-promovendi, Rindia Putri (TNW), Wouter Vijselaar (TNW), Floris van den Brink (EWI) en Marinke van der Helm (EWI) van de Universiteit Twente hebben de Global Young Scientists Summit kunnen bijwonen in Singapore. ... read more

MESA+ meeting

Christoph Traulsen and Aijie Liu wins poster prize MESA+ meeting 2015

As usual there was a poster session with poster prizes and parallel sessions. The 1st prize (€1000) was awarded to Christoph Traulsen (BNT) for his poster ‘Application of Virus Protein Cages in Functional Materials’. ... read more

Rindia Putri

Rindia Putri wins the poster prize at the first International Symposium “Supramolecular Chemistry on Proteins” in Essen

Rindia wins the poster prize at the first International Symposium “Supramolecular Chemistry on Proteins” in Essen, with a special focus on the young and emerging field of supramolecular chemistry and biology. The poster was entitled “Harnessing allostery in a photo-responsive promiscuous protein”, by R. M. Putri, J. W. Fredy, P. Tananchayakul, J. J. L. M. Cornelissen, M. S. T. Koay and N. Katsonis. Congratulations! ... read more


Jeroen Cornelissen joins the Management Team of MESA+

The Executive Board proudly announces that, as of 1 September, 2015, Professor Guus Rijnders and Professor Jeroen Cornelissen will succeed Professor Dave Blank as Scientific Director of MESA+. They will form the interim management of the research institute together with Technical Commercial Director Janneke Hoedemaekers. Rijnders and Cornelissen will fulfil this position for half a year. Professor Dave Blank will be appointed as Chief Scientific Ambassador as of 1 September, 2015. ... read more

Licht vormt topologische structuren in druppeltjes van vloeibare kristallen.

Nieuwe structuren in vloeibare kristallen onder invloed van licht

Nathalie Katsonis (Universiteit Twente) en haar collega’s hebben recentelijk aangetoond dat licht nieuwe structuren kan creëren in druppeltjes van vloeibare kristallen die lichtgevoelige moleculaire motoren bevatten. ... read more


Professoren op het podium

Saturday the 31st of January, Nathalie will participate to the theater show “Professoren op het Podium”, with Bram Nauta and Hedwig te Molder. The show starts at 20:30 in De Kleine Willem, Langestraat 45, Enschede. ... read more

Rindia Putri

Poster Prize Rindia Putri at the ESF-EMBO Symposium

Our PhD student Rindia Putri won the Poster Prize at the recent ESF-EMBO Symposium on the Synthetic Biology of Antibiotic Production II. Her poster was entitled “Protein cages as platforms for synthetic biology”, by R. Putri, M. Brasch, A. Chessher, J.J.L.M. Cornelissen, E. Takano and M.S.T. Koay. Congratulations Rindia! ... read more

Young Researcher Award for Supitchaya Iamsaard

Supitchaya Iamsaard wins the Young researcher Award at the 5th Munster Symposium on Cooperative Effects in Chemistry. ... read more

Article Nature Chemistry

Article Nature Chemistry

Researchers of the University of Twente's MESA+ research institute have developed spiral ribbons made of molecules, that are able to convert light into complex macroscopic motion. Therefore, they managed to amplify molecular motion and translate it to the macroscopic world. The research, which was inspired by movement in plants, is published in the major scientific journal Nature Chemistry. ... read more

Hot article J. Mater. Chem. B

Article selected as Hot Article 2013 J. Mater. Chem. B.

The article entitled “Nanoscale organization of proteins via block copolymer lithography and non-covalent bioconjugation” by Irene C. Reynhout, Guillaume Delaittre, Ho-Cheol Kim, Roeland J. M. Nolte and Jeroen J. L. M. Cornelissen has been selected as a Hot Article for 2013 by the Journal of Materials Chemistry B. ... read more

Rindia Putri

Rindia Putri receives Unilever Research Prize 2013

Our PhD student, Ms Rindia Putri, was recently named UT winner of the Unilever Research Prize 2013. On Thursday 28 November, Rindia received her award at an official ceremony that took place at Unilever R&D in Vlaardingen. The prestigious annual prize is awarded to outstanding graduate students in the fields of chemistry, biology, mechanical engineering and social sciences. Congratulations Rindia! ... read more

Jonge Akademie

Nathalie Katsonis new member of the Young Academy

The Young Academy is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). It is an independent platform of leading young researchers that organises activities focusing on interdisciplinarity, science policy, and the interface between science and society. Like every year, the Young Academy has selected ten talented new researchers to add to its ranks. ... read more

Jeroen Cornelissen

Jeroen Cornelissen ontvangt Europese Consolidator Grant

De ERC Consolidator Grants worden jaarlijks door de European Research Council toegekend aan wetenschappers. Het is de derde grote individuele Europese onderzoekssubsidie van de ERC, naast de Starting Grant (maximaal 2 miljoen) en de Advanced Grant (maximaal 3,5 miljoen). ... read more

Rindia Putri

Rindia Putri wins Unilever Research prize 2013

We are proud to announce that our PhD student, Ms Rindia Putri, was named UT winner of the Unilever Research Prize 2013. The prestigious annual prize is awarded to outstanding graduate students in the fields of chemistry, biology, mechanical engineering and social sciences. ... read more

Open Huis UT

Open huis UT: veel bezoekers bij stand BNT & MNF

Het Open Huis van de Universiteit Twente trok afgelopen zaterdag veel bezoekers. Naar schatting vijfduizend geïnteresseerden namen een kijkje achter de schermen in de wereld van wetenschap en techniek. ... read more

Posterprijs Benjamin Matt


Our post-doctoral researcher Benjamin Matt won the David Reinhoudt Poster Award at the annual meeting of the MESA+ Institute. The poster is entitled “Helical motion in bio-inspired photo-responsive polymer springs”, by B. Matt, S. Iamsaard, S-J. Aβhoff, J.J.L.M. Cornelissen, S.P. Fletcher and N. Katsonis. Congratulations! ... read more

Rindia Putri

Rindia Putri wins Twente Graduate School Award 2013

The TGS Research Honours PhD Award for Twente's graduate student Top Talent will be awarded for the first time in 2013 and goes to Rindia Putri, MSc student in Chemical Engineering (MESA+ Institute). Prof. Jeroen Cornelissen, one of Putri's supervisors, will accept the award on behalf of Putri on Monday, 2 September at the opening of the academic year at the University of Twente. The prize that Putri has won consists of a check for 2,500 euros that she can spend on a doctoral course or research conference in her field. ... read more

Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane Aßhoff nominated for the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Sarah Jane Aßhoff has been nominated among 625 other young researchers from all over the world to meet 34 Nobel Laureates at the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Chemistry this summer. Every year since 1951, up to 35 Nobel Laureates spend a week in Lindau to exchange knowledge and ideas, to share their enthusiasm for science and to establish new contacts. ... read more

Jeroen Cornelissen

Oplosbare Elektronica

Naar aanleiding van de ontwikkeling, door Rogers en medewerkers (Science, 337, pg. 1640, 2012), van elektronische chips gebaseerd op water-oplosbaar dragermateriaal, is Prof. Cornelissen van het Laboratorium voor Biomoleculaire Nanotechnology (MESA+) geinterviewd door de Volkskrant en het Radio1-programma Tros Nieuwsshow (zie link). ... read more

Licht op vloeibare kristallen

C2W, 25 januari 2013.
De helixstructuur in chirale vloeibare kristallen kun je naar believen vervormen. Dat biedt interessante toepassingsmogelijkheden, bijvoorbeeld als optische sensor die van kleur veranderd bij een bepaalde temperatuur of afwezigheid van CO2 ... read more

Emerging Investigator 2013


Nathalie Katsonis is contributing to the 2013 Emerging Investigators issue of Chemical Communications with a paper entitled “Time-programmed helix inversion in phototunable liquid crystals”, by Sarah-Jane Aßhoff, Supitchaya Iamsaard, Alessandro Bosco, Jeroen Cornelissen, Ben Feringa and Nathalie Katsonis. ... read more


Proefkonijnen op het lab

Op dinsdag 8 en woensdag 9 januari waren de labs van het BNT/MnF cluster het decor van het BNN televisieprogramma ‘Proefkonijnen’. In dat programma proberen de presentatoren Dennis Storm en Valerio Zeno nuchtere antwoorden te vinden op bezopen vragen. We hebben met plezier een handje geholpen met het beantwoorden van enkele vragen en daarnaast ondervonden dat ook op het grensvlak van wetenschap en amusement nog leuke, nieuwe dingen te leren zijn. ... read more

Maarten Smulders

Maarten Smulders wins first prize in poster competition at MASC2012

During the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry Meeting, held last December at Queen Mary, University of London (UK), Maarten Smulders was awarded the first prize in the poster competition. ... read more

Nathalie Katsonis

Nathalie Katsonis ontvangt de Professor De Winter-prijs 2012

De Professor De Winter-prijs, genoemd naar de in 2005 overleden hoogleraar, is een internationale publicatieprijs voor vrouwelijk toptalent. De prijs is bedoeld als erkenning voor excellent wetenschappelijk onderzoek en als stimulans voor het verder ontwikkelen van een wetenschappelijke loopbaan. ... read more


Aspasia premium for Nathalie Katsonis

Nathalie Katsonis receives an Aspasia premium of 50 000 € to support her research on photo-engineered helices in chiral liquid crystals. ... read more



Nathalie Katsonis is awarded with a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for her project Phelix (Photo-engineered helices in chiral liquid crystals). The aim of this project is to develop sophisticated helical materials with responsive architectures that are of interest in optical communication, energy management, photonic materials and mechanical actuation. She will receive 1.5 million euros over a period of five years to develop her program and set up her research team. ... read more

Jeroen Cornelissen

Jeroen Cornelissen receives an IBM Faculty Award of $ 20k

Jeroen Cornelissen receives an IBM Faculty Award of $ 20k
The IBM Faculty Awards is a competitive worldwide program intended to:
• Foster collaboration between researchers at leading universities worldwide and those in IBM research, development and services organizations; and ... read more

Jeroen Cornelissen

Emerging Investigator 2012

Jeroen Cornelissen is contributing to the 2012 Emerging Investigators issue of ChemComm with a paper entitled “Relative size selection of a conjugated polyelectrolyte in virus-like protein structures”, by Melanie Brasch and Jeroen Cornelissen. ... read more


Nathalie Katsonis received an International Exchange Grant from the Royal Society ... read more

Emerging investigator

Review Nathalie Katsonis

Nathalie’s review on “Controlling chirality with helix inversion in cholesteric liquid crystals” is published online in the Journal of Materials Chemistry ( Congratulations! ... read more


CHAINS 2011: KNCV Golden Medal Lecture

Viruses are highly defined protein structures, that from a chemical point of view can be used as a platform for the controlled position of molecular entities with different functions at the nanoscopic level. This growing research field is referred to as Chemical Virology and, in particular, spherical viruses allow the integration of biological and synthetic building blocks in a well-defined manner ... read more

Virus like protein

Relative size selection of a conjugated polyelectrolyte in virus-like protein structures

A conjugated polyelectrolyte poly[(2-methoxy-5-propyloxy sulfonate)-phenyl-ene vinylene] (MPS-PPV) drives the assembly of virus capsid proteins to form single virus-like particles (VLPs) and aggregates with more than two VLPs, with a relative selection of high molecular weight polymer in the latter. ... read more

Sarah-Jane Asshoff wins poster award at Chains 2011

Sarah-Jane wins the poster award in the section Nanoscience at Chains 2011, the largest chemistry conference in the Netherlands. Her poster is entitled “Photocontrolling the helical twist in cholesteric liquid crystals”. Congratulations! ... read more


Nature paper by Tibor Kudernac and Nathalie Katsonis

Congratulations to Tibor and Nathalie who co-authored a Nature paper on "Electrically driven directional motion of a four-wheeled molecule on a metal surface". This breakthrough results from a collaborative effort between the University of Groningen and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science. More information can be found on the website of Prof. Ben L. Feringa ... read more

Remco Oskam

Open dag UT: veel bezoekers bij stand BNT & MNF

Tijdens de Open Dag van de Universiteit Twente op zaterdag, 17 september jl. hebben veel bezoekers de stands van BNT & MNF bezocht. De proefjes die uitgevoerd werden waren vooral gericht op kinderen van 4 tot 12 jaar. Zo konden ze haargel maken, suikerspinnen eten en proefjes uitvoeren met viltstiften en M&Ms. ... read more

Jeroen Cornelissen Winnaar Gouden KNCV-Medaille 2010

De winnaar van de KNCV Gouden Medaille 2010 is bekend. Bij de officiële opening van het Internationale Jaar van de Chemie 2011 op 28 januari heeftl Professor Jeroen Cornelissen deze prestigieuze medaille in ontvangst genomen. ... read more

Jeroen cornelissen

Oratie Jeroen Cornelissen

De Rector Magnificus maakt bekend dat Prof.Dr. Jeroen Cornelissen benoemd door het College van
Bestuur van de Universiteit Twente tot hoogleraar Biomoleculaire Nanotechnologie aan de faculteit Technische Natuurwetenschappen het voornemen heeft ter gelegenheid van zijn ambtsaanvaarding een rede uit te spreken op donderdag 3 februari a.s. om 16.00 uur in de Prof. ir. M.P. Breedveld-zaal van gebouw de Waaier.
Belangstellenden worden van harte uitgenodigd hierbij aanwezig te zijn. Na afloop van de plechtigheid is er gelegenheid tot gelukwensen. ... read more

verbouwd virus

Verbouwd virus wordt medicijn

Nederlandse onderzoekers overwinnen laatste stap in nieuwe medicijntransporteur
NWO-onderzoekers Roeland Nolte en Jeroen Cornelissen hebben een virus omgebouwd tot medicijnverdeler. De wetenschappers pakken virusomhulsels, vullen die met werkzame stof, plakken ze aan elkaar en activeren ze op de gewenste plek met behulp van licht. Die laatste stap was tot nu toe nog nooit gelukt. Op 21 maart publiceerde het tijdschrift Nature Chemistry de resultaten van het onderzoek.
De wetenschappers verwijderden uit het virus al het gevaarlijke materiaal zodat er lege, halfdoorlatende bolletjes overbleven. Vervolgens maakten ze die bolletjes aan elkaar vast met boomvormige polymeren. Het virusbolletje is negatief geladen en de polymeer positief. Zo kan het ene uiteinde van de polymeerketen zich aan het ene virusdeeltje hechten en het andere uiteinde aan het andere virusdeeltje. ... read more