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Seminar 11/16/2011 - Anna C. Balazs, University of Pittsburgh: Modeling the Dynamic Self-Assembly of Biomimetic Capsules and Hairs

Bio: Anna C. Balazs is the Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Robert von der Luft Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her B.A. in physics at Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. in Materials Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After postdoctoral work in the Polymer Science Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research involves developing theoretical and computational models to capture the behavior of polymeric materials, nanocomposites and multi-component fluids in confined geometries. Balazs served as the Chair of the Division of Polymer Physics of the APS (2000-2001), Co-Chair of the Spring MRS meeting (2000) and served on the APS Public Policy Committee. She is a Fellow of the APS and the Royal Society of Chemistry. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Soft Matter.

Abstract: Local variations in chemical concentration can be used to initiate and direct the self-sustained motion of microscopic objects. Using computational modeling, we design cell-like microcapsules and worm-like gels that generate such chemical gradients, sense these self-generated gradients and consequently, undergo autonomous movement. The microcapsules are seen to spontaneously organize into motile, snake-like structures and the polymeric “wormâ€? pulsates and autonomously moves away from light. Both examples illustrate the complex dynamical behavior that can be produced by these biomimetic systems.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.

Location: Bowen Hall Atrium

Date/Time: 11/16/11 at 12:00 pm - 11/16/11 at 1:00 pm

Category: PRISM/PCCM Seminar Series

Department: PRISM