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"Biophysical Interactions with Nanomaterials", Wednesday, February 3, 1:00pm, MH 606


Ran Chen, Kansas State University

ABSTRACT: Nanoscale materials have become widely adopted in various biomedically or environmentally relevant applications. In order to stimulate and facilitate these applications, there is an urgent need for a better understanding of the biophysical interactions of these materials with biological systems, especially on the cellular and molecular level. In this seminar, I will first introduce a series of comparative investigations on the cellular interactions of nanomaterials with animal and plant cells, and with subcellular structures like plasma membrane, and subsequent impact on the membrane structure. Then I will discuss about molecular level interaction of a few types of commonly used nanomaterials with biological macromolecules like proteins; I will show these interactions are determined by nanomaterial surface features and their binding with protein amino acid residues. Such binding shows impact on both the protein secondary structures and the nanomaterials surface physical or chemical properties, and subsequently change their interactions with other subcellular structures. Lastly I will introduce a modeling framework to systematically study the physical forces involved in biomolecule-nanosurface interactions by statistically analyzing massive experimentally obtained binding data, and the application of this framework toward molecular binding prediction and nanomaterial characterization based on their surface physical/chemical properties.