CBE Seminar (Zoom): Bioinspired Design of Dynamic and Active Soft Materials

Friday, December 11, 2020 - 11:00 a.m. to Saturday, December 12, 2020 - 11:55 a.m.
Zoom link to be distributed by CBE department
Zhibin Guan, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
UC Irvine

Abstract: Many biopolymers not only have advanced mechanical properties such as high modulus, toughness and elasticity, but more importantly, exhibit dynamic characteristics including adaptive, malleable and self-healing properties. Following inspirations from nature, the Guan lab has been developing new strategies of bioinspired designs of soft materials imbued with various dynamic properties. This talk will highlight some recent examples of our endeavor in this direction. In one example, we have designed biomimetic modular polymers with folded nano-domains as the repeat units. These new materials manifest an exciting combination of key mechanical, as well as adaptive, properties that have until now proven difficult to achieve in man-made systems. In another example, we have developed strong and autonomous self-healing polymers using various supramolecular and dynamic covalent interactions. The use of dynamic covalent chemistry has been further applied to the design of adaptive, malleable thermoset polymers that can be reprocessed recycled. Most recently, inspired by the energy-fueled dissipative self-assembly of actin networks and microtubules in cytoskeletons, we developed redox-fueled and feedback-controlled non-equilibrium active materials. The overarching concept for all these projects is to build a direct link between microscopic molecular properties and macroscopic bulk performance. In this seminar, I will highlight the design, synthesis and property studies of these dynamic adaptive polymers.

Bio: Guan was raised in Anhui Province, China. He went to Beijing to receive his education. After finishing his undergraduate studies and master's degree at Peking University, he came to the United States. He received his doctorate in 1994 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, working with Professor Joseph DeSimone. Following a postdoctoral stint at Caltech with Frances Arnold (2018 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) and a short career at DuPont, he joined the UCI faculty in the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor in 2000. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004, and to professor in 2006. From 2006, he also became an affiliated faculty member of UCI's Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He has received several research awards and fellowships, including the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship, the Humboldt Bessel Research Award, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Beckman Young Investigator Award, and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as chair for the 2018 Bioinspired Materials Gordon Research Conference in Les Diablerets, Switzerland.

Guan is an internationally renowned materials chemist who has made important contributions to bioinspired dynamic and active materials, self-healing materials, malleable and recyclable polymers, biomaterials and polymerization catalysis. He has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers in high impact journals such as Science, Nature Materials, Nature Chemistry, Nature Biotechnology, Advanced Materials, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie, etc. His research work has been featured by many scientific journals and news media such as Chemical & Engineering News, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Forbes, etc.