Synthetic biomimetic extracellular matrices

Jan Lauko started his research path as an organic chemist focused on the synthesis of conjugated chiral molecules. His PhD project was focused on the design and synthesis of novel acetylene- and azido-functionalised precursors and the development of protective groups strategies towards well-defined macromolecular structures. The second part of his PhD project was the study of catalytic activity of macrocycles using dye sensor molecules. Tailor-made changes to the core structure of dye molecules resulted in selective reporter molecules for visualization of catalytic processes. His subsequent research was focused on electrochemical sensors, where specific enzymes embedded in polysaccharide coatings were able to detect trace amounts of analyte such as glucose or lactate and translate this into electrochemical signal. The research was focused on the development and process optimisation of the sensor technology. He is currently focused on the study of synthetic biomimetic extracellular matrices, for use in cell growth and wound healing.

​​Jan is a graduate of the Comenius University in Bratislava with a Masters Degree (cum laude) in Organic chemistry. His PhD in the group of Alan Rowan in Nijmegen, the Netherlands was focusing on the design of extended-conjugation supramolecular graphene constructs using click chemistry and macrocyclic sensor probes for mechanistic studies of epoxidation reactions. In 2012 he joined a Dutch startup company NovioSense BV as CTO where he developed the coating and sensor elements as well as the integration of electronics and medical device design for the NovioSense sensor platform. After 4 years at NovioSense, he decided to take up a new challange and join Prof. Rowan at the AIBN in Brisbane to aid him in establishing his new research group and look over the research conducted in there.

Industry Engagement & Collaborations

  • Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands - Colaboration with Dr. Kouwer on the development of novel strain-stiffening materials.
  • Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Colaboration with the group of Prof. Egelhaaf on the design and development of the confocal rheology setup.

Jan has spent the last four years prior to joining AIBN (2012-2016) as the Chief Technology Officer of a Dutch start-up company NovioSense BV. There he overlooked the technical development of the product, a non-invasive glucose sensor. A substantial part of the research involved collaboration with academic institutions, such as Radboud University, University of Maastricht and Isala Hospital in Zwolle. The development of the product also involved a cross border collaboration with one of the leading German research institutes, The Fraunhofer Institute in Duisburg.

Key Publications

H. J. Kitto, J. Lauko, F. P. J. T. Rutjes and A. E. Rowan in Click Chemistry in the Preparation of Biohybrid Materials,  John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2009, pp. 217–254.

M. Juríček, M. Felici, P. Contreras-Carballada, J. Lauko, S. Rodríguez Bou, P. H. J. Kouwer, A. M. Brouwer and A. E. Rowan, J. Mater. Chem. 2011, 21, 2104–2111.

A. Hennig, J. Lauko, A. Grabmaier and C. Wilson, Procedia Eng. 2014, 87, 66–69.

M. I. Svechtarova, I. Buzzacchera, B. J. Toebes, J. Lauko, N. Anton and C. J. Wilson, Electroanalysis 2016, 28, 1201–1241.

J. Lauko, P. H. J. Kouwer and A. E. Rowan, J. Heterocycl. Chem. 2016, DOI: 10.1002/jhet.2770