Day 1 :
Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Time : 10:00-10.30
Dr Russell is the Highmark Distinguished Career Professor at Carnegie Mellon University where he directs the Disruptive Health Technology Institute. Dr. Russell is the CEO of his latest start-up biotechnology company, BioHybrid Solutions, LLC. Dr. Russell has broad experience at the interface of science, healthcare and commercialization. Alan also led what became the largest regenerative Medicine institute in the world. He has been deeply involved in strategic investments in technologies as the innovation lead for a $20 billion integrated health enterprise, as an entrepreneur and as an academic leader. Alan has appeared on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 people that will change America.
Biomacromolecular synthesis is the core chemistry of all biological systems. Cellular biopolymers control all complex bioprocesses through regulation of their chemical structure, which allows precise interactions with other biomolecules. Polymer-Enhanced Biomacromolecular Systems use controlled polymer synthetic techniques to enhance the function of biological molecules, cells, and tissues. The ability to tune and improve biomolecular behavior with designer polymers relies on precise control of the interactions between the biomolecules and the polymers. Our interest is in the rational design of polymers that, through chemical tuning, dramatically enhance or transform the function of the biological molecules with which they interact. Inherent to “rational design” is an ability to link the chemical structure of a particular polymer to its ultimate effect on the biological molecule. We are developing an understanding of structure-function interactions between polymers and biological molecules that will result in new synthetic processes, materials and therapies. Society has come to expect that biology and chemistry should work in unison to provide sustainable smart materials, rugged chemical components and therapies that are targeted and effective. We are focused on solving a variety of defense challenges that require the ruggedization of biology. Controlled polymer synthesis enables the generation of polymer shells around a biomolecule that can rationally tailor function. Because the polymer chemistry is tunable, Polymer-Enhanced Biomacromolecular Systems can take advantage of a large molecular space that convey unique properties to the modified biomolecule, cell or tissue. We have learned how to covalently couple or display multiple small molecule initiators onto a protein surface and then grow polymers from those sites. The technique is so powerful that a single protein-polymer conjugate molecule can exhibit the properties of both the biomolecule and the polymer. We have used stimuli-responsive polymers that respond to external triggers, such as temperature and pH, while maintaining biologic activity. This seminar will outline our progress and the remaining challenges in the design and synthesis of next-generation polymer-enhanced biomacromolecular systems.
Capacitor Sciences Inc., USA
Time : 10:50-11.20
Pavel Lazarev is the inventor of Capacitor Sciences’ high permittivity technology and founder of the Company. He also is the founder of Cryscade and inventor of the company’s Donor-Bridge-Acceptor technology. He received his Masters from Moscow State University, Ph.D. in Crystallography and Dr. of Science Degree in Biophysics from the Russian Academy of Science. Previously, Pavel founded Nanotechnology MDT (www.nt-mdt.com), Akvion (www.akvion.ru), Optiva Inc., Ribtan Inc. (www.ribtan.com) and Crysoptix KK, (www.crysoptix.com). Pavel was an editor of International Journals ‘Molecular Engineering’, ‘Nanobiology’ and ‘Molecular Materials’. Pavel has published several books, over 150 technical publications and over 200 inventions with emphasis on the R&D and production of functional crystalline films based upon coatable lyotropic liquid crystals.
Statement of the Problem: The efficient charge transfer is needed to design efficient energy storage materials. A polarizable molecular structure with asymmetrical charge distribution mediates low energy transitions leading to high polarizability and energy density. These low-energy electronic transitions are also required to obtain high second-order non-linear responses. It can be achieved by a modification of donor and acceptor groups and especially their spatial separation. We studied the molecular properties of organic (opto)electronic materials, dielectrophores, experimentally and theoretically. The dipole moments and the band gap of a single molecule are the simplest quantified tools that are used to determine the potential material for capacitors at the pre-development stage. Spectroscopic experiments allow the selection the materials with low band gap and hence high polarizability.
Methodology: In this study, spectroscopic data are studied in the presence and the absence of the external electric field. Series of polymers with various substituents were investigated experimentally and theoretically to determine the molecular structure with the highest polarizability.
Findings: There is a direct relation between the (hyper)polarizability factors, band gap, and UV/Vis spectra. The strength of donor-acceptor groups, the length of the conjugated bridge, the polarity of the solvent, and the planarity of the molecule significantly affect the polarizability and the charge transfer properties. Since the band gap is inversely proportional to the second hyperpolarizabilities, the absorption peak in longer wavelength indicates the lower band gap and, correspondingly, the enhanced polarizability. Calculations provide an excellent agreement with the experiment, see Fig. 1.
Conclusion & Significance: We studied non-linear optic materials and defined predevelopment tool to target the best materials that can be used for the energy storage applications. With large (hyper)polarizability factors, investigated polymers are performing better than commercially available capacitors.
Politecnico Torino, Italy
Time : 11:20-11:50
Alberto Tagliaferro has been active in the field of carbon materials in thin film and nano form for more than two decades focusng on material properties and on applications such as sensors and polymer composites. He has investigated diamond like carbon, nanocristallyne diamond, carbon nanotubes and graphene among others both on their own and as fillers in composites. More recently he has focused on biochar as an ecofriendly source of nano and micro structured carbon. He has published a number of papers on the subject, on applications ranging from Li-ion batteries to humidity sensors, from mechanical to electromagnetic properties of composites.
Ever since the early days of polymers scientists and technologists have been exploring routes aimed to improve the intrinsic properties of polymers. The most explored has been the addition of fillers that can improve and tailor the composite properties.
Statement of the Problem: In recent years nanostructured fillers have attracted a lot of interest because of their characteristics. Among them carbon nanotubes and graphene were of special interest because of their understanding properties, partly due to their geometry and partly to the fact they are made of carbon. The drawbacks are their cost, the challenge of achieving a uniform dispersion in the matrix and the health related issues. To overcome these drawbacks we investigate a carbon produced from green sources as a filler: biochar.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: different concdentration of the biochar were dispersed as filler in an epoxy resin and samples for mechanical and microwave absorption investigation were prepared.
Findings: The addition of a few wt% of biochar to the resin led to remarkable improvements in mechanical properties of the composites such as: (i) transition from fragile to ductile behaviour (ii) increase in Young modulus (iii) large increase in resilience (iv) huge increase in toughness, ... As per microwave absorption properties it was shown that with an easy to dispers amount of biochar it is possible to match the characteristics obtained by adding a few wt% of CNT.
Conclusion & Significance: It is shown that a cheap green carbon material (i.e. biochar) can be used as a substitute for CNTs as fara as mechanical properties and complex permittivity in the microwave frequency range of polymer composites are concerned. This opens new perspective to application in composites as most of the drawbacks of CNT and graphene are overcome.