Megalibraries: Manipulating Cellular Function and Expanding the Materials Genome”

Speaker: Chad A. Mirkin
Affiliation: Northwestern University



Jointly hosted by ACS Nano, the Bio- and Nano-Photonics Laboratory, the Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Training Program, the UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN), the Center for Minimally Invasive Therapeutics (C-MIT), CNSI Education, JCCC’s Cancer Nanotechnology Program, and the CNSI Technology Centers.

Novel materials are crucial for driving the development of next-generation energy, environmental, and
biological applications. Nanomaterials are poised to play a critical role ivn this process due to their advantageous catalytic, optical, electrical, and physiological properties that stem from their size. However, the discovery and synthesis of these materials remains slow due to the expansive parameter space (i.e., size, arrangement, and composition) that needs to be explored. For cellular programming, nanopatterned substrates can direct cell behaviors to improve function, alter gene expression, and direct cell fate. However, the subcellular arrangement of cell adhesion ligands into arbitrary shapes remains challenging with conventional methods limiting our ability to precisely modulate biophysically derived cell behavior. Similarly, with catalytic systems, the high cost and scarcity of precious metals, significantly limit their widespread use and pose major challenges for future adoption. Alloying precious metals with earth abundant transition metals is a promising method for reducing cost and improving catalytic activity, selectivity, and catalyst stability; however, the selection of appropriate element combinations remains largely empirical, posing significant challenges in designing and synthesizing high-performance, low-cost catalysts. When one considers the 91 metal elements in the periodic table, and all possible combinations, including stoichiometric ratios and particle size, a nearly infinite number of possible materials exist. For both cellular and catalytic applications, the ability to rapidly synthesize and subsequently screen materials for desired properties is needed. In this presentation, cantilever-free scanning probe lithography approaches for controlling subcellular cytoskeletal organization to modulate stem cell fate and combinatorial nanoscience relying on “megalibraries” consisting of as many as 5 billion positionally encoded nanoparticles (comprised of as many as 8 dierent elements) will be described. Importantly, for catalytic nanoparticle discovery, one megalibrary contains more new inorganic materials than scientists cumulatively have produced and characterized to date. Therefore, this novel approach lays the foundation for dramatically changing the pace at which we both explore the breadth and discover the capabilities of nanomaterials.

Date(s) - Jan 31, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CNSI – Auditorium
570 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles CA 90095