Chemical Engineering Seminar: Yeongseon Jang (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Soft Matter Assembly and Recombinant Technology (SMART) Approaches
towards Advanced Biomaterials Design
Dr. Yeongseon Jang
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Formation of suprastructures from basic biomolecules is an essential characteristic of living organisms, which has inspired me to create synthetic, functional supramolecular biomaterials from tunable polymers and proteins. Integration of such macromolecules into well-organized suprastructures also enables to achieve enhanced functionalities of the designed materials such as programmable incorporation/release of building molecules, stimuli-responsiveness, and/or controlled physical properties for target applications. However, these approaches require a thorough understanding of the intermolecular interactions of chained, rod-shaped, and/or globular types of complex polymeric building blocks under various environmental conditions.
In this talk, I will describe the rational strategies for engineering diverse types of supramolecular materials made from charged polymers, recombinant peptides, or globular fusion proteins based on the fundamental investigation on the structural and mechanical properties mainly using neutron scattering and microscopy techniques. First, I developed controlled surface erosion of layer-by-layer assembled multilayer thin films composed of charged polymers by changing their molecular properties. Based on the studies of swelling, release and phase separation behavior of polymer thin films, I designed tunable polymer thin films for in vitro study and control of cell behavior including adhesion, motility, and signaling with other types of cells. Then, I utilized recombinant proteins that can act as amphiphiles while presenting specific bioactivity to create gas-filled microbubbles or water-filled vesicles with enhanced biofunctionality. In the last part, I will introduce the approaches to control the mechanical and structural properties of the 3-dimensional supramolecular materials made from recombinant proteins, which will be useful for ultrasound-mediated cancer therapy and drug delivery applications. Collectively, a combination of recombinant technology and soft matter assembly approaches at the molecular and supramolecular level will offer new insight into the creation of advanced biomaterials, which can overcome current challenges in synthetic biomaterials for biomedicines, energy, and environmental applications.
Dr. Yeongseon Jang received her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Kookheon Char at Seoul National University in 2013. Her Ph.D. thesis title is “Functional Multilayer Films with Controlled Nanostructures for in vitro Cell Studies”. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, co-advised by Profs. Daeyeon Lee and Daniel A. Hammer, in 2015. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Julie A. Champion’s group at Georgia Institute of Technology, where focuses on the development of functional protein vesicles. Her research interests are aimed at the creation of supramolecular biomaterials from recombinant proteins and polymers to exploit highly organized structure, controlled properties, reversibility and stimuli-responsiveness towards next-generation biomaterials.