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TU Dresden » Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering » Institute for Materials Science » Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology

Friday, 15 June 2012
(at 13:00 in room 115, Hallwachsstr. 3)
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"Mechanical Engineering" of Protein-Based Biomaterials: From Single Molecules to Functional Biomaterials

Hongbin Li

Department of Chemistry
University of British Columbia

Over the last decade, the development of single molecule force spectroscopy has made it possible to directly probe the mechanical properties of elastomeric proteins at the single molecule level. Combining single molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM) and protein engineering techniques, researchers have started to understand the molecular design principles of elastomeric proteins and use such knowledge to engineer novel elastomeric proteins of tailored nanomechanical properties. Recently we have employed these novel elastomeric proteins as building blocks to construct protein-based biomaterials. Ultimately, we would like to rationally tailor mechanical properties of elastomeric protein-based materials by programming the molecular sequence, and thus nanomechanical properties, of elastomeric proteins at the single-molecule level. This step would help bridge the gap between single protein mechanics and material biomechanics, revealing how the mechanical properties of individual elastomeric proteins are translated into the properties of macroscopic materials. Here I describe our recent efforts in this new area of research. Two examples will be discussed: 1) designing protein-based biomaterials to mimic the passive elastic properties of muscles, and 2) designing protein hydrogels with domain unfolding and loss of water.

Brief Bio:

Hongbin Li received his bachelor degree in Polymer Engineering from Tianjin University, China, in 1993 and PhD degree in Polymer Chemistry and Physics from Jilin University, China, in 1998. During his PhD study, he was jointly trained in University of Munich, Germany. He did his postdoctoral research in Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. He then worked as an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Biological Sciences in Columbia University, New York, USA, before joining the Department of Chemistry in the University of British Columbia, Canada, in 2004. Currently he is a tenured Associate Professor of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Nanoscience and Protein Engineering. His research interests include protein mechanics and engineering at the single molecule level, protein folding and unfolding dynamics and protein-based biomaterials.

Invited by G. Cuniberti

Within the nanoSeminar

last modified: 2021.10.02 Sat
author: webadmin