Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Series: Gregory Payne
Soft Matter Construction with Stimuli-Responsive Biopolymers and Electrochemistry
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
University of Maryland
Biology provides both the materials and the lessons for fabricating soft matter for diverse applications. Here we focus on two general systems; stimuli-responsive biopolymers and electrochemically-modified phenol-polysaccharide matrices.
A variety of stimuli-responsive polymers are capable of undergoing reversible sol-gel transitions in aqueous solution under near physiological conditions. In essence, gel formation is a process in which these biopolymers self-assemble over a hierarchy of length scales. Specifically, we are examining stimuli-responsive biopolymers that can be triggered to undergo gel formation in response to device-imposed electrical signals. These capabilities are being employed to electroaddress proteins and cells to device interfaces (e.g., for biosensing applications).
Biology oxidatively initiates the fabrication of a variety of phenolic networks (e.g., lignin and melanin) that have poorly-characterized structures and functions. Using a biomimetic anodic fabrication method, we are able to modify the aminopolysaccharide chitosan with phenols to generate a phenol-polysaccharide matrix. Recent studies indicate that phenol-modification can also confer unique redox-activity to these films.