"Mechanical Engineering Seminar Announcement"
Mechanical Engineering Seminar Announcement Wednesday, February 1st, 2006 Time: 1:30 to 2:30 pm Place: COE Room 226A Cytomimicry- Developing Biofunctional Materials Through Biotic-Abiotic Interfacing Dean Ho, Ph.D. The concept of biotic-abiotic interfacing has enabled researchers to assemble structures that interface biological and synthetic components towards the fabrication of cytomimetic materials based on inherent molecular function. We have applied this concept to the development of block copolymer-membrane protein hybrids with potential applications in energy, nanoscale medicine, and beyond. Towards the fabrication of practical devices built upon the biotic-abiotic interface, block copolymeric membranes have been developed which can preserve protein functionality while simultaneously possessing configurable characteristics based upon desired functionality. For example, block lengths as well as compositions can be altered, and UV-reactive endgroups (e.g. methacrylate/acrylate) can be added to undergo free-radical polymerization to increase membrane stability which can in turn enhance protein stability and resistance to a wide range of environments (pH, temp., etc.) This talk will detail our recently demonstrated use of fully-assembled polymeric vesicles functionalized with embedded membrane proteins (BR/COX) to generate light-dependent currents via a cytochrome c mediator. In addition, this talk will highlight a myriad of achievements in fabricating large-area collagen Type I–copolymer films for the autonomous induction of C2C12 muscle cell alignment, vectorial orientation of proteins in PMOXA-PDMS- PMOXA polymeric biomembranes for device engineering purposes, as well as the utilization of two-dimensional nanostructures as interrogative modalities for neuronal studies. Serving as essential engines that drive the processes of life and matrices that harness this activity, biofunctional molecules (proteins-matrix, channel and energy transducing) and artificial membrane materials, respectively, represent important components of next generation cytomimetic devices inspired by nature. Biography Dr. Dean Ho received his Ph.D. in 2005 from the UCLA Bioengineering Department. He is currently a Research Associate in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology. His research has covered emerging areas in biotic- abiotic interfacing and bionanotechnology to integrate membrane-bound and extracellular matrix proteins with block copolymeric biomimetic membranes to fabricate biomolecular hybrid materials. Dr. Ho has been among the first to demonstrate the coupling of protein function and the potential of using bioactive polymers as energy conversion systems. This work is the subject of his recently published article in Nanotechnology (Cover Article) as well as a featured article in Nanotechnology that was downloaded over 1000 times which was among the top 10% of all downloaded Institute of Physics (IOP) publications. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers in the areas of bio/chemical energetics, biotic-abiotic interfacing, as well as developing novel power sources based on the harnessing of protein functionality. Dr. Ho also specializes in the fabrication of glucocorticoid-functionalized materials as anti-inflammatory coatings to enhance implant biocompatiblity, as well as using nanowires and nanotubes as neuronal interrogative modalities. Dean’s research achievements have garnered news coverage in Nature, MICRO/NANO, as well as BBC Radio.