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IBEC Seminar: Matteo Palma

Friday, June 19, 2015 @ 10:00 am11:00 am

Bio-inspired self-assembly for single-molecule investigations

Matteo Palma, Queen Mary University of London

One of the ultimate goals in nanotechnology is the ability to produce efficient devices based on individual molecules and nanostructures. Despite the many potential benefits envisioned for single-molecule technology (in electronics and biotechnology) the strategies employed to date suffer from various limitations. Principal among these limitations is the poor control over the molecular assembly of nanostructures and individual molecules with respect to one another, as well as their position on devices with respect to other material components.

I will first discuss techniques based on the combined use of lithographic nanopatterning and bio-molecular self-assembly to control the immobilization of biomolecules in arrayed nanodomains. I will show how this allows us to produce highly ordered, self-assembled arrangements of nano-objects, ranging from proteins to DNA nanostructures, and bio-inorganic assemblies, for a variety of (nanoscale) investigations.

I will show how by specific design of the biomolecular nanoarrays, it is possible to simultaneously monitor hundreds of protein/DNA binding events at the single-molecule level. Moreover I will discuss the use of our nanopatterned biomimetic surfaces to probe the importance of transmembrane proteins (integrins) clustering and geometric arrangement of binding sites, in the formation of cell focal adhesions

I will then highlight the broader utility of such nanopatterned surfaces for the self-organization (on surfaces) of bio-inorganic assemblies as well as DNA nanostructures and carbon nanotubes. In particular, I will discuss how the combination of high resolution patterning with end-functional chemistry enables the assembly of 1D functional nanostructures in an orderly fashion.

Finally, building on our novel bottom-up assembly strategy for the formation of (chemically and geometrically) versatile carbon nanotube (CNTs) junctions, I will present a universal approach for the generation of multifunctional nanomaterials that employ molecular building blocks assembled between DNA wrapped CNT electrodes. We will demonstrate single-molecule control in the formation of nanohybrids via the in-solution assembly of classes of molecular materials (organic, and inorganic which display promising attributes) to DNA wrapped CNTs. We believe this may be a viable avenue towards the integration of these materials in complex and functional nano-architectures.

Our findings are of general interest for the controlled assembly of a broad range of functional molecules and nanostructures, towards the fabrication of solution-processable nanoscale devices. Moreover, we believe that the knowledge developed makes a significant contribution towards the facile fabrication of nanohybrid materials for single-molecule investigations. Future technologies will require devices of this type in a variety of key areas, including biodiagnostics, ultra-high speed computation, bioelectronics, and for renewable energy applications.


Friday, June 19, 2015
10:00 am–11:00 am
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