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1:30-2:30 p.m. | ENG II, Room 103

Additive Manufacturing, which has been referred to as the fourth revolution in manufacturing, is a truly disruptive class of manufacturing. In AM, location-specific mechanical properties can be tailored by grading materials and microstructure, complex geometries that cannot be manufactured with traditional processes can be fabricated, and cost-effective part repair and low volume manufacturing can be realized. However, AM processes have tremendous variability and are not well understood. This has led to significant research efforts into controlling these processes. This talk will discuss our research efforts in the control-oriented modeling and feedback control of two AM processes.

1:30-2:30 p.m. | ENG II, Room 103

Polyelectrolyte complexes are formed by mixing oppositely charged polymers in solution. The resultant complex phase separates into either irregularly shaped solids (or rather glasses), called precipitates, or micron sized liquid droplets (that can coalesce) called complex coacervates. This phenomenon can be confined to the nanoscale using block copolyelectrolytes that contain neutral blocks covalently linked to charged blocks, creating self-assembled micellar structures in dilute solutions. Here we will discuss both bulk and nanoscale polyelectrolyte complexes. Specifically, we are investigating the creation of complex coacervate materials with increased hydrophobic content in order to fundamentally understand the impact of hydrophobicity on complex coacervation, but also as a way to encapsulate both charged therapeutics such as nucleic acids and proteins, as well as hydrophobic drugs.

1:30-2:30 p.m. | ENG II, Room 103

The assembly and mechanics of actin, an essential cytoskeletal protein, drive many important cellular processes including cell motility, division, shape maintenance/alteration, and intracellular transport. Actin assembly into double-helical filaments, with distinct mechanical and structural properties, takes place in the cytoplasm crowded with ions, macromolecules, and other binding proteins. Despite increased appreciation of macromolecular crowding effects, most in vitro studies of actin have been performed in simple dilute solutions, therefore are limited to accurately reflect filament mechanics and structure in complex cellular environments. I will present an overview of my group’s work to determine molecular mechanisms by which intracellular environments modulate actin cytoskeleton mechanics, structure, and interaction with key regulatory proteins. Our study will advance the understanding of in vivo regulatory processes of actin biophysics and mechanobiology, which are closely linked to cell physiology and human disease states.

We gratefully acknowledge the College of Graduate Studies for its support of this event.
For more information on the MAE Seminar Series, please email Associate Professor Shawn Putnam.