CeBiTec Distinguished Lecture


Tuesday, June 28th 2011, 17 c.t.


Plenary Hall, ZiF building


Prof. Dr. Ralph G. Nuzzo

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA


Devices, Fabrication Methods and Functional Materials
for Discovery in Biological and Bioanalytical Chemistry

The fabrication of high performance integrated circuits provides examples of the most sophisticated materials fabrication methods, as well as the most high performance materials, used in any area of modern technology. The advanced functional systems they provide are ones that are generally characterized by a massive integration of circuit elements within compact, rigid and essentially planar device form factor devices. Such features, while well suited to the requirements of electronics, are less enabling for the classes of devices and modes of operation that enable the study and manipulation of biological systems. For the latter, the design rules and forms of materials integration involve numerous interesting but generally difficult to realize attributes. These include: the ability to accommodate living system — cells or microorganisms — as well as highly functional/chemically complex materials; to sustain or manipulate fluid flows; enable dynamic molecular patterning that is elicited both temporally and spatially; embed complex multiscale, non-planar/curvalinear and 3D structural forms; and provide capacities for enabling useful forms of mechanics — flexure, folding, and actuation as examples. New materials and enabling means of fabrication are beginning to provide approaches to construct devices with properties of this type along with capacities for high performance. In this lecture I will describe a number of examples related to recently developed 3D materials platforms and microfluidic devices possessing utility to drive discovery in biological and bioanalytical chemistry. Of particular interest will be examples taken from our recent work involving integrated 3D fluidic platforms for sustaining and manipulating complex 3D cellular microcultures of neurons and novel integrated tools for chemical analysis that can be used to characterize both them and biologically relevant samples more generally. I will provide an overview of the rapidly developing fields of soft and direct write fabrication methods that can be used to construct these devices and suggest opportunities as well as needs for future progress.


Prof. Dr. Armin Gölzhäuser