11:00 am - 12:00 pm
UTSA 1604 Main Campus
1 UTSA Circle
San Antonio, Texas
Please join the College of Engineering for
Dean’s Distinguished Speaker
Huajian Gao, Ph.D.
School of Engineering, Brown University
University of Texas at San Antonio
February 21, 2014
11 a.m. – noon
Loeffler Room, BSB 3.03.02
Dr. Gao will present
Mechanics of Cellular Uptake of One- and Two-Dimensional Nanomaterials
With the rapid development of nanotechnology, various types of nanoparticles, nanowires, nanofibers, nanotubes, and atomically thin plates and sheets have emerged as candidates for an ever increasing list of potential applications for next generation electronics, microchips, composites, barrier coatings, biosensors, drug delivery, and energy harvesting and conversion systems. There is now an urgent societal need to understand both beneficial and hazardous effects of nanotechnology which is projected to produce and release thousands of tons of nanomaterials into the environment in the coming decades. This talk aims to present an overview of some recent studies conducted at Brown University on the mechanics of cell-nanomaterial interactions, including the modelling of nanoparticles entering cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of nanoparticles interacting with cell membranes. We will discuss the effect of nanoparticle size on receptor-mediated endocytosis, the effect of elastic stiffness on cell-particle interactions, how high aspect ratio nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and graphenes enter cells and how different geometrical patterns of ligands on a nanoparticle can be designed to control the rate of particle uptake.
Huajian Gao received his B.S. degree from Xian Jiaotong University of China in 1982, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Science from Harvard University in 1984 and 1988, respectively. He served on the faculty of Stanford University between 1988 and 2002, where he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1994 and to Full Professor in 2000. He served as a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research between 2001 and 2006 before joining the Faculty of Brown University in 2006. At present, he is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Engineering at Brown.
Professor Gao’s research is focused on the understanding of basic principles that control mechanical properties and behaviors of materials in both engineering and biology. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering of USA and a co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, the flagship journal of his field. He is also the recipient of numerous academic honors, from a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995 to recent honors including the Alexander von Humboldt Prize from Germany and Rodney Hill Prize in Solid Mechanics from the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 2012.