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MSE Seminar: “A Polymer Brush Approach to Controlling Biological Binding to Surfaces”
October 3, 2019 at 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Polymer brushes are a common feature in many biological surfaces. The ability to rapidly transform a substrate from a hard, structural material to a soft, hydrogel structure over the course of a few tens of nanometers makes polymer brushes elegant materials for tailoring the biology-materials interface. Polymer brushes, because of their surface confinement, are typically stretched from the surface when compared to identical unattached polymer segments and confinement provides them with useful barrier properties. This presentation will discuss recent studies of surface grown polymer brushes, effects of charge on surface properties and brush viability, the use of charged brushes for interaction with biological systems both in terms of directing cell growth and their use for support of cell membrane mimics.
While “grown from” polymer brushes cannot address large surface area applications, the use of block copolymers in place of “grown from” brushes provides most of the benefits of polymer brushes with the ability to coat large area surfaces. Surfaces used for anti-fouling coatings are an example of brush like, large area application. Numerous studies have shown that amphiphilic brush surfaces (with both polar and non-polar groups) provide a broad range of anti-fouling properties. Here we describe new approaches to surface active block copolymers including the use of sequence controlled functional groups to tune surface
properties and surface placement.
Francis Bard Professor of Materials Engineering, Cornell University
Christopher Ober is the Francis Bard Professor of Materials Engineering at Cornell University. He has pioneered new materials for photolithography and studies the biology-materials interface. Ober received his B.Sc. in Honours Chemistry (Co-op) from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 1978 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 1982. From 1982 until 1986 he was a senior member of the research staff at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada where he worked on marking materials. Ober joined Cornell University in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 1986. He recently served as Interim Dean of the College of Engineering. He is presently Director of the Cornell Nanoscale Facility. He is a fellow of the ACS (2009), APS (2014), and AAAS (2014). He is a SPIE Senior member (2018). He received the ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science in 2006, the Gutenberg Research Award in 2009, the Society of Polymer Science Japan (SPSJ) International Prize in 2013 and the Japan Photopolymer Science and Technology Outstanding Achievement Award in 2015.