Seminar - Nanofabricating the Interface with Biology

Speaker / Host:
Dr Benjamin Almquist, Department of Bioengineering
Monday, 8 January 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Imperial College London

Venue: Room G01, Royal School of Mines, South Kensington Campus.

Abstract:: Recent advances in nanofabrication 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 nanofabrication to unlock new insights in the fields of molecular and cellular biology. Specifically I will explore how we are using devices created via atomic layer deposition to explore epigenetic dysregulation in diabetic foot ulcers - the leading cause of non-traumatic lower leg amputation throughout the world