Speaker: Matt Harrington
Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Date and time: Friday, October 4, 2019, 12 – 1 PM
Location: Galbraith Building, 35 St George St, Room 221
Abstract: Living organisms produce remarkable polymeric fibers that self-assemble from biomolecular building blocks. Employing a cross-disciplinary approach, our group has harnessed advanced material characterization techniques, including confocal Raman spectroscopy, electron microscopy (FIB-SEM and TEM-EDX) and synchrotron X-ray diffraction, as well as traditional biochemical approaches to investigate the fabrication of a number of high-performance bio-fibers, including the mussel byssus, velvet worm slime fibers and mistletoe viscin fibers. Elucidation of the physical and chemical forces driving assembly of such materials provides design principles for inspiring “green” polymer processing methods, as well as for fabrication of soft hierarchically structured materials for biomedical applications (e.g. tissue scaffolds, surgical adhesives). Our comparative studies have identified several novel assembly mechanisms, which may have relevance in this realm. In this talk, I will highlight recent results from our investigations.