During the last decade, our understanding of soft matter has been transformed through the synergistic consolidation of theory, computer simulations, and experiments into a materials design engine (platform). In this talk, I will describe how this approach has guided synthesis towards programmable molecular architectures to yield novel functional materials with well-controlled physical properties. In particular, I will demonstrate how theory and computer simulations have empowered the design of polymeric networks capable of replicating the unique self-assembly, mechanics and temporal evolution of living tissue. These synthetic tissue mimics are vital for biomedical device engineering and embody significant implications for decoding a multitude of cellular processes including proliferation, locomotion, and differentiation. This interdisciplinary approach has also driven the discovery of a graphene exfoliation mechanism utilized in synthesis of superabsorbing and conductive polymer/graphene foams.
ANDREY DOBRYNIN is Alan N. Gent Ohio Research Scholar, Professor of Polymer Science at University of Akron. He received his B.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1991) degrees in Polymer Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow, Russia. His research focuses on computationally driven materials design, polymer networks and gels, wetting and adhesion at the nanoscale, associating polymers, polyelectrolyte solutions and gels, charged polymers at surfaces and interfaces, electrostatic interactions in biological systems, time programmable materials, 3D printing, active matter, and soft-matter physics and biophysics. More information is available from the research group web page: http://blogs.uakron.edu/dobryninlab/
Host: Professor Shelby Hutchens