Laurens Raes

Laurens Raes










Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy
Ghent University
Ottergemsesteenweg 460
9000 Gent
Tel: 0032 9 264 80 47 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 80 49 (direct)
Fax: 0032 9 2648189



Laurens graduated as a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology with great distinction (Faculty of Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium). He choose Biochemistry and Structural biology as major and his master’s dissertation, entitled ‘Development of monomeric FLT3 ligand to dissect wildtype and oncogenic FLT3 complexes’, was performed at the Unit for Structural Biology, VIB IRC, Ghent. In August 2016, he started his PhD research project at the Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy.

 Research interests:

Vapor nanobubbles, gene editing, CRISPR-Cas, bionanotechnology, biotechnology.


Summary of Research Project(s)

The research project of Laurens focuses on vapor nanobubble (VNB) photoporation for cell-selective delivery of proteins and nucleic acids.
VNB photoporation is a rather new method for delivery of nanomaterials into mammalian cells. The technique makes use of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which adsorb to the plasma membrane of the cells. When illuminated with intense nano- or picosecond laser pulses, the AuNPs will absorb this laser light and become extremely hot, leading to evaporation of the water surrounding these particles. A VNB will expand up to several hundred nm until the thermal energy from the AuNP is consumed, after which the bubble violently collapses, causing high-pressure shock waves. The mechanical force of these VNBs causes membrane poration, allowing target cell-specific intracellular delivery of biological molecules.  
The technique was already shown to be efficient for siRNA delivery, though this research project aims to further explore the potential of the technology for transfection of proteins, mRNA and pDNA. A second objective of this study is to apply this concept for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing, e.g. for application in stem cells in context of tissue engineering.

 schema Laurens