We are interested in making unique combinations of biological molecules and polymers to develop materials that combine the exquisite specificity and functionality of biological molecules with the physical toughness and engineering ability of polymers. We have chosen block copolymers as mimics for lipid molecules and membrane proteins as the functional protein elements.
The short term goal of our group is to understand protein polymer interactions and develop devices and membranes inspired by cell membranes. The longer term goal is to emulate these native biological structures with robust polymeric or engineered protein structural elements.
We are also interested in improving current synthetic membranes used in the process, water, energy, and biotech industries. We are utilizing innovative methods to study structure of and transport across these membranes and developing new methods to control fouling and improve efficiency.
September 2016: Our collaborative paper with the Zimmer, Nixon and Bulone groups showing that a single isoform of plant (poplar) cellulose synthase is sufficient for cellulose microfibril formation was published in PNAS! Read it here.
September 2016: Patrick's paper on PSI in block copolymers and on block copolymer conductive interfaces linked to electrodes is published in Journal of Materials Chemistry A (after a long journey). Read it here.
July 2016: Several members of our lab visited the exciting Gordon Research Conference on Membranes: Materials and Processes.
July 2016: Patrick successfully defends his thesis. He is headed to Gregg Beckham's group in NREL, Golden, CO in September.
July 2016: Our collaborative paper with Prof, Na Wei's group (Notre Dame) on surface display of laccases for environmental remediation is online. It was published in Environmental Science and Technology. Read it here.
June 2016: Yuexiao successfully defends his PhD. Congratulations!
May 2016: Our paper on the EM structure of Gluconacetobacter hansenii (formerly acetobacter) cellulose synthase (AcsAB) is online. Read it here.
May 2016: Our diffusiophoresis review with the Velegol group is published in Soft Matter. Raj and Manish are coauthors. Read it here.
April 2016: Boya's paper on microfiltration of frack flowback water is published in Water Research. Check it out here.
April 2016: Hasin wins first prize at the College of Engineering Research Symposium. Congratulations Hasin!
April 2016: Our paper on using engineered self-controlled biofilms to fight biofouling on reverse osmosis (RO) membranes was accepted to PNAS. Raj is co-first author, Li and Mike Geitner are co-authors. Details of project here. Paper is available for download here.
April 2016: Our collaborative paper with the Mihail Barboiu group at CNRS, Montpellier, France on I-quartet water channels was accepted to JACS! Yuexiao is co-first author. Check it out here.
April 2016: Yuexiao receives the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad! See announcement here. Also here is a picture of Yuexiao being interviewed by news media.
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