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Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 9.01.46 AM (2)Bioinspired Protein Polymers for Next‐Generation Materials

Minkyu Kim, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thursday, February 26, 2015
3:30 p.m.
Engineering Research Center (ENGRC) 490, Tempe campus [map]

Natural materials can serve as great inspirational sources to develop next-generation polymeric materials for human health care, attributed to their exceptional physical and chemical properties including biocompatibility, biodegradability and potential nontoxicity. Typically, the unique properties of natural materials are related to their biopolymer elements, particularly multi-functional proteins, and the structural organization of biopolymers in materials. To mimic the propertiesof natural materials, well-characterized functional protein building blocks can be engineered into artificial protein polymers, which can then be hierarchically assembled into nanostructured materials, in contrast to constructing the entire complex natural system. Based on this bioinspired approach, Kim will discuss the first artificially engineered protein polymer hydrogels recently developed that mimic the enhanced selective transport function of the nuclear pore complex for advanced separation technology. Kim will also discuss the mechanical protein polymer building blocks responsible for muscle toughness and red blood cell deformability as well as a proper crosslinking strategy to potentially construct mechanically responsive soft materials for biomedical applications.

Minkyu Kim is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in the Bioinspired and Biofunctional Polymers Group led by Prof. Bradley Olsen. He received his B.S. (2004) in Mechanical Engineering at Kyung Hee University (Korea) and M.S. (2006) in Biomedical Engineering and Ph.D. (2011) in Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Duke University. Dr. Kim has diverse research experiences in the areas of biopolymer nanomechanics, polymer physics and selfassembly, biomolecular engineering and soft materials. His research interests focus on design, synthesis, and characterization of biopolymer-based functional materials for human health. He has been recognized with the Graduate Study Abroad Fellowship from the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (2004-2006), a graduate research award from the Sigma Xi (2008), the Medtronic predoctoral fellowship (2009), and the Student Research Achievement Award from the Biophysical Society (2010).

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