May 2024

Bioengineering Seminar

There’s Plenty of Room at the (Nan-Bio) Boundary

Professor Ardemis Boghossian
07 May, 2024
12:00 PM – 01:00 PM

The vast expansion of available synthetic biology tools has led to explosive developments in materials science. The increased accessibility of these tools has pushed the frontier of materials science into the field of engineering biological and even living materials. By coupling the tunable and robust optoelectronic properties of synthetic nanomaterials with the specificity and adaptability of biomaterials, one can re-purpose biology to fulfil needs that are otherwise intractable using traditional engineering approaches.
This presentation highlights applications in sensing and energy technologies that exploit the synergistic coupling of nanobio-hybrid materials at the boundary. This talk will discuss the development of bio-conjugated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) for near-infrared fluorescence sensing. We discuss recent advancements in applying synthetic biology approaches, such as directed evolution, xeno nucleic acid engineering, and protein mutagenesis, to control the optical properties of these synthetic nanoparticle sensors for a range of applications. This presentation will also discuss complementary efforts in re-purposing biological materials for electronic applications. This talk will focus on developing living electronics, such as fuel cells and photovoltaics, through concomitant genetic re-programming and nanomaterial engineering. These demonstrations exemplify but a few examples of disciplinary bottlenecks we can overcome through anti-disciplinary approaches.

Ardemis Boghossian obtained her B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the supervision of Michael S. Strano, where she focused on nanotube photo-spectroscopy and its applications in energy and sensing. She pursued her postdoctoral studies on bioengineering in the laboratory of Frances H. Arnold at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She began her professorship at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) as the lead principal investigator (PI) of the Laboratory of NanoBiotechnology (LNB). Her research team specializes in cross-disciplinary applications in synthetic nanomaterials and biological engineering. Their advancements in the field have been recognized by several research awards, including the 2023 NanoResearch Young Innovator Award in Bio-inspired Nanomaterials, 2022 Nanocarbons SES Research Young Investigator Award, 2021 European Society of Photobiology (ESP) Young Investigator Award, 2019 NanoResearch Young Investigator Award in NanoEnergy, and the 2019 ERC Starting Grant.

Event Quick Information

07 May, 2024
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Building 9 - Lecture Hall 2325