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Tuesday August 26, 2008
5 PM
PHO 339

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"Molecular Biomimetics: Genetically-Engineered Molecular Materials for Technology & Medicine"
Prof. Mehmet Sarikaya
University of Washington

With the recent developments of nanoscale engineering in physical sciences and the advances in molecular biology, we are combining genetic tools with synthetic nanoscale constructs and create a hybrid methodology, molecular biomimetics. In this approach, we use biology as a guide and adapt bioschemes including combinatorial biology, post-selection engineering, bioinformatics, and modeling to select and tailor short peptides (7-60 amino acids) with specific binding to and assembly on functional solid materials. Based on the fundamental principles of genome-based design, molecular recognition, and self-assembly, we can now engineer peptides for solids and synthetic functional molecules as nucleators, catalyzers, growth modifiers, molecular linkers and erector sets, simply as fundamental utilities for nano and nanobio-technology. We will review the latest developments from our collaborative research groups in this rapidly developing polydisciplinary field, focusing on i. Fundamental issues in genetic design,molecular recognition, and assembly of peptides, ii. Bioenabled nano-photonics, -magnetics, and -electronics, and iii. Practical implementation in inorganic biosynthesis and fabrication towards molecular and nano-imaging, sensing (diagnostics), and tissue regeneration.

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