Maria Chiara Arno
Dr Maria Chiara Arno receives the Felix Franks Biotechnology Medal for her outstanding contributions in advancing the understanding of material-cell interactions

Dr Arno has received the award for her outstanding contributions in advancing the understanding of material-cell interactions.

Among her most significant contributions has been the development of a technique to precisely control the morphology and size of semi-crystalline nanoparticles in water. This research (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 16980-16985) represents the first report on the biological application of nanostructures prepared by crystallisation-driven self-assembly, allowing the application of this technology in the fields of drug delivery and tissue engineering towards to an entirely new class of biomaterials.

Building on this original idea, she has pioneered the concept of 2D nanoparticles as tissue adhesives (Nat. Commun. 2020, 11, 1420). Her studies have significantly advanced our understanding of how nanomaterials’ interactions with biological systems can be exploited to engineer living materials.

Dr Arno has established independent collaborations across universities and companies in the UK and worldwide. As an example, she was awarded a Researcher Mobility Grant in 2018 to visit the University of Queensland to establish a new research collaboration (Biomater. Sci. 2023, accepted; ACS Cent. Sci. 2018, 4, 718-723; Nanomaterials 2021, 11, 1745).

She has proven herself to be an inspired leader with a unique multidisciplinary approach, bridging the interface of supramolecular chemistry and chemical biology, that crosses the traditional biotechnology and materials chemistry boundaries.

Maria Chiara will be presented with the award at an RSC meeting or other suitable occasion in 2023 or 2024.

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RSC - Felix Franks Biotechnology Medal