BioE COLLOQUIA SERIES: "A NanoBioengineering Frontier for Next-Generation Optical Devices"


Event details

Date and time 21.10.2019 12:15  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Ardemis Boghossian, Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, School of Basic Sciences, EPFL, Lausanne (CH)
Category Conferences - Seminars
(sandwiches served)

The vast expansion of available synthetic biology tools has led to explosive developments in the field of materials science. No longer confined to engineering just synthetic materials, the increased accessibility of these tools has pushed the frontier of materials science into the field of engineering biological and even living materials. By coupling the tunability of nanomaterials with the prospect of re-programming living devices, one can re-purpose biology to fulfill needs that are otherwise intractable using traditional engineering approaches.

Optical technologies in particular could benefit from capitalizing on untapped potential in coupling the optical properties of nanomaterials with the specificity and scalability of biological materials. This seminar highlights specific applications in optical sensing and light-harvesting energy technologies that exploit the synergistic coupling of nanobio-hybrid materials. We discuss the development of bio-conjugated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) for near-infrared fluorescence sensing and the application of these nanobioptic sensors for continuous measurements in living cells and organisms. We further explore the development living photovoltaics based on bioengineered, photosynthetic organisms with augmented capabilities.

Ardemis Boghossian has been appointed Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC) of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2007. In 2012, she graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Chemical Engineering under the supervision of Michael S. Strano. Her graduate work focused on applied nanotechnology, where she engineered nanoparticles that interface with light-harvesting, biological constructs to enhance solar energy conversion. She also developed algorithms for quantifying stochastic fluctuations in fluorescence from single-molecule, nanotube-based biosensors.

She continued her research career as a postdoctoral fellow in the Frances H. Arnold laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as a protein engineer, applying methods of directed evolution to engineer cells that can electronically interface with electrodes. At EPFL, Professor Boghossian implements a highly interdisciplinary approach to addressing fundamental challenges and developing novel technologies that exploit the synergy between nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Through her focal points in the fields of optoelectronics and protein engineering, she contributes new biological and biochemical methods for the production of durable hybrid nanomaterials for energy and biosensing applications.

  • Postdoc, Department of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2012-2014
  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2012; Minor: Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering
  • B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, 2007; Minor: Mathematics

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Practical information

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  • Free