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IoB Seminar Series: Dr Ben Almquist, Engineering the Interface with Biology: Adventures in Space and Time

Image: Dr Ben Almquist
Dr Ben Almquist

Date: 16 November 2016   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Recent advances in nanoscience have enabled us to create materials and devices that interact with biological systems across every relevant length scale, whether at the individual protein level or the hierarchical tissue level. In this talk I will explore how we can rationally design biotic-abiotic interfaces that seamlessly bridge the gap between synthetic devices and biological systems. I will begin by covering how inspiration from nature has allowed us to create biomimetic ‘inorganic transmembrane proteins’. These nanostructures have subsequently been used to elucidate fundamental design guidelines for integrating synthetic materials into cell membranes. Using these new design principles, we are beginning to understand how to fuse together silicon-based devices and cells for enabling long-term intracellular access.

In the second part of the lecture, I will touch on how we can use a combination of nanodevices and self-assembly strategies to create materials that interact with tissues over time. Specifically I will explore how we can coordinate the temporal delivery of biomolecules to treat diabetic ulcers, one of the leading causes of non-traumatic lower leg amputation. These devices and materials are beginning to enable us to dynamically interact with cells and tissues over time, in turn manipulating the signalling networks that control cell and tissue behaviour.

Location:  PP1 Lecture Theatre, People’s Palace, Mile End
Contact:  Dr Ben Almquist