Mechanics for Nano- and Bio- Materials

Friday, January 29, 2010 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Dr. Katerina Aifantis
School of Engineering
Lab of Mechanics and Materials
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki, Greece


The emerging field of nanotechnology promises significant applications ranging fromnanostructured Li batteries to drug delivering nanoparticles. Before, however, nanomaterials canbe used to their full extent it is necessary to not only understand their physical, chemical andoptoelectronic properties, but also their mechanical properties. Experimental evidence has shown that not only the traditional Hall-Petch relationship breaksdown below a particular nanometer grain size, but also the elastic modulus of nanostructuresdiffers from their bulk counterparts. These unique properties of nanomaterials are attributed totheir high surface to volume ratio. Of the most promising techniques for characterizing the mechanical response of nanomaterialsis atomic force microscopy (AFM) and nanoindentation. These methods, however, are also verypromising in examining biomaterials, since their microstructure is also in the submicron scale.  In the present talk, therefore, in addition to providing experimental evidence that signify theeffect that mechanics have on energy (Li-batteries) and biomedical applications, AFM studieswill be shown for nanostructured materials, biological tissues, and cell cultures.

Instructive Biomaterials and the Role of Physical and Chemical Cues in Native and Pathologic Tissues

Friday, January 22, 2010 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Dr. Rupak Rajachar
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Michigan Technological University


One of the significant hurdles of regenerative engineering is creating instructive materialscapable of directing the development of the complex multi-scale nature of tissues. In ourlaboratory we look to use specific contextual studies of native and pathological tissue behavior(both in vitro and in vivo) to develop rationale designs for new biomaterials as delivery vehiclesto regulate cell and tissue regeneration and repair. More specifically, the overarching theme ofthe Engineered Biomaterials Lab (EBL) at Michigan Technological University is to understandhow physical and chemical cues guide cell behavior in vascular and bone-related tissues.During the seminar I would like to address some of the specific materials approaches our lab isusing to study the role of physical and chemical cues in 1) interfacial tissue engineering and 2)the phenotypic behavior of cells associated with the host response to implantable biomaterials.


Rupak Rajachar received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Sciencesand Engineering (1994) and Biomedical Engineering (1998, 2003) from the University ofMichigan. He was a senior research fellow at the University of Washington EngineeredBiomaterials (UWEB) Research Center from 2003-2006. Currently, he is an assistant professorin the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Technological University, Houghton,MI. His areas of expertise include biomimetic materials, cell and tissue mechanics, and the hostresponse to implantable materials. He is also working on the design and formulation ofcomposite materials for hard and soft tissue engineering. He is the author of over 30publications in archival journals and conference proceedings.