Physical biology at the semiconductor-enabled biointerfaces
Speaker: Dr. Bozhi Tian, The University of Chicago
Date: Feb 8, 2019; Time: 2:30pm Location: BPB Rm. 131
Abstract: Recent studies have demonstrated that in addition to biochemical and genetic interactions, cellular systems also respond to biophysical cues, such as electrical, thermal, and mechanical signals. However, we only have limited tools that can introduce localized physical stimuli and/or sense cellular responses with high spatiotemporal resolution. Inorganic semiconductors display a spectrum of physical properties and offer the possibility of numerous device applications. My group integrates material science with biophysics to study several semiconductor-based biointerfaces. In this talk, I will first pinpoint domains where semiconductor properties can be leveraged for biointerface studies, providing a sample of numbers in semiconductor-based biointerfaces. Next, I will present a few recent studies from our lab and highlight key biophysical mechanisms underlying the non-genetic optical modulation interfaces. In particular, I will present a biology-guided two-step design principle for establishing tight intra-, inter-, and extracellular silicon-based interfaces in which silicon and the biological targets have matched mechanical properties and efficient signal transduction. Finally, I will discuss new materials and biological targets that could catalyze future advances.
Biographical Sketch: Bozhi Tian received his Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from Harvard University in 2010. He is now an associate professor at the University of Chicago, working on semiconductor-enabled fundamental studies of subcellular biophysics and soft matter dynamics. Dr. Tian’s accolades from his independent career include the Inaugural ETH Materials Research Prize for Young Investigators (2017), Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (2016), and TR35 honoree (2012).