CBE Seminar (ZOOM): Designing Electro-catalytic and Biomaterials for Sustainability

Zoom link to be distributed by CBE department
Professor Gautam Gupta

J.B. Speed School of Engineering
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

Abstract: In this talk, I will cover two different topics that encompass both chemical and bioengineering. The first part will focus on electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution. Hydrogen is a promising fuel with a potentially limitless supply available from electrochemical water-splitting utilizing solar irradiation. However, it is extremely difficult to rationally design the next generation of high-performance and durable materials. The key to an apt technology-relevant material resides in decreasing kinetic, thermodynamic and transport losses. To enhance catalytic activity, one can increase the number of active sites, control the type of active site, enhance diffusion of reactants, optimize charge transfer, tune electronic properties and address durability issues. We will specifically discuss the design, synthesis and characterization of non-precious metal dichalcogenide catalysts.

The second part of the talk is closer to bioengineering at heart. I will demonstrate an aqueous Capture-and-Release Gels technique for optimized storage (Bio-CaRGOS) of biospecimens. Our technique is facile, reproducible and can achieve stabilization of any biospecimen of interest including RNA, DNA and proteins within a few minutes using a standard benchtop microwave. We have demonstrated the stability of the biospecimens (DNA, miRNA, hemoglobin) with nearly 100% integrity preservation for up to six months. In contrast, the control samples denatured within a few days. All of these results indicate excellent structural and functional integrity of the molecules in Bio-CaRGOS and their amenability to downstream processing.

Bio: In 2016, Gupta joined the faculty at University of Louisville, where he is currently an associate professor and directs an Energy Sustainability Lab. Previously, he was a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Lab. Gupta earned his doctorate in 2009 from the University of New Mexico. His current area of research includes catalysts for sustainable energy, Perovskite Solar cells, and gels for bio immobilization and corrosion. He has co-authored more than 100 articles; his work is published in journals including Science, Nature, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Science Advances, ACS Nano and others.


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