Details

Join the Chemical Engineering Department for a seminar with professor Markita Landry of UC Berkeley. Hosted by CMU ChemE Professor Zack Ulissi.<

The passcode for this meeting is 161546.

Abstract

Title: Engineering Nanomaterials to Probe and Control Living Systems

Unique physical, chemical, and optical phenomena arise when materials are confined to the nano-scale, which is a scale similar to that of the building blocks of life: proteins, nucleic acids, and cells. As such, nanomaterials are promising for the development of nanoscale technologies to probe and control biological systems. In particular, genetic engineering of plants is at the core of environmental sustainability efforts, but the physical barrier presented by the cell wall has limited the ease and throughput with which exogenous biomolecules can be delivered to plants. We will describe how nanomaterials engineering principles can be leveraged to genetically manipulate living plants via DNA or RNA delivery, without transgene integration, in efforts to reconcile the benefits of crop genetic engineering with the demand for non-GMO foods. To better understand forceindependent transport phenomena of nanoparticles across the plant cell, we synthesize DNA origami and DNA nanostructures to determine the physiochemical characteristics important for cell wall crossing, and show that certain nanomaterials both facilitate biomolecule transport into plant cells while also protecting polynucleotides from nuclease degradation. Lastly, we describe additional key considerations for the effective translation of nanoparticles from their in vitro synthesis and characterization to effective in vivo implementations for a broad range of imaging and delivery biotechnology applications.