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Bioengineering Seminar Series: Matthew Dowling
Friday, December 11, 2009
11:00 a.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
For More Information:
Professor Adam Hsieh

Blueprinting Self-Assembled Soft Matter : An ‘Easy’ Approach to Advanced Biomaterial Synthesis in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering

Presented by Matthew B. Dowling
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
University of Maryland

From Jello to mayonnaise to silly putty to biological cells, our world is replete with “soft matter” – materials that behave as soft, deformable solids or highly viscoelastic liquids. Living systems, in particular, can be thought of as extremely sophisticated ‘soft’ machines, with each cellular unit representing a touchstone for the functional potential of soft materials built via self-assembly. Drawing inspiration from biology, we blueprint soft biomaterial designs which rely upon self-assembly to achieve enhanced functionality. As opposed to complex synthesis schemes often used to develop improved biomaterials, we take an ‘easy’ approach by allowing relatively simple molecules orchestrate themselves into advanced machines.

Four systems will be described in this talk, all based on self-assembly in mixtures of amphiphilic molecules. In one case, we have created a triggered-release hydrogel by embedding pH-sensitive vesicles within a gelatin matrix. Second, we have developed hybrid biopolymer capsules containing drug-loaded vesicles by means of a one-step self-assembly process. Thirdly, we have therapeutically functionalized biopolymer films by simply passing a solution of vesicles over the film surface. Lastly, we have demonstrated that the addition of a certain biopolymer transforms a suspension of whole blood or soft tissue cells into a gel. We demonstrate how these soft systems can have various biomedical engineering applications including controlled release, targeted drug delivery, wound healing, hemostasis and tissue engineering.

This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs

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