Professor Andrey V. Dobrynin,
Department of Polymer Science at the University of Akron
Professor Andrey V. Dobrynin, Department of Polymer Science at the University of Akron
Abstract: During the last decade, our understanding of soft matter has been transformed through the synergistic consolidation of theory, computer simulations, and experiments into a materials design engine (platform). In this talk, I will describe how this approach has guided synthesis towards programmable molecular architectures to yield novel functional materials with well-controlled physical properties. In particular, I will demonstrate how theory and computer simulations have empowered the design of polymeric networks capable of replicating the unique self-assembly, mechanics and temporal evolution of living tissue. These synthetic tissue mimics are vital for biomedical device engineering and embody significant implications for decoding a multitude of cellular processes including proliferation, locomotion, and differentiation. This interdisciplinary approach has also driven the discovery of a graphene exfoliation mechanism utilized in synthesis of superabsorbing and conductive polymer/graphene foams.