Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biomineralization studies aim to replicate natural processes

10.12.2010
Heinz accesses Ohio Supercomputer Center to study organic-inorganic bonding

A University of Akron researcher is leveraging advanced modeling and simulation techniques to more precisely understand how organic materials bond to inorganic materials, a natural phenomenon that if harnessed, could lead to the design of composite materials and devices for such applications as bone replacement, sensing systems, efficient energy generation and treatment of diseases.

Hendrik Heinz, Ph.D., an assistant professor of polymer engineering at UA, is accessing the systems of the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) to study the process of biomineralization, nature’s ability to form complex structures, such as bones, teeth and mollusk shells, from peptides.

“Research in our group aims at the understanding of complex interfacial phenomena, particularly biomineralization and organic photovoltaics, at the molecular scale using computer simulation,” said Heinz.

“Simulation with atomistic and coarse-grain models and the development of computational tools goes hand in hand with collaborative experimental efforts.”

“Advanced materials remains one of the cornerstones of research supported by the Ohio Supercomputer Center and is fundamental to both the economic legacy and future prospects for the State of Ohio,” noted Ashok Krishnamurthy. “OSC is committed to providing state-of-the-art computational and storage resources to scientists, such as Dr. Heinz, who are focused on the design of fascinating new classes and applications of materials.”

In a recent paper published by Interface, a journal of The Royal Society, Heinz describes how induced charges modify the interaction of proteins, peptides and bond-enhancing surfactants with metal surfaces. In another recent article, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Heinz explains how he used molecular dynamics simulations to investigate molecular interactions involved in the selective binding of several short peptides to the surfaces of gold, palladium and a palladium-gold bimetal.

“Advances in materials science such as in biomedical and energy conversion devices increasingly rely on computational techniques and modeling,” Heinz said. “In particular, interfaces at the nanoscale are difficult to characterize experimentally, such as charge transport mechanisms in solar cells, the formation of biominerals, and self-assembly of polymers in multi-component materials. Model building and simulation are critical to understand dynamic processes across the length and time scales.”

This summer, Heinz received $430,000 for two years of research funding from the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER award program. Heinz and his research team are taking an interdisciplinary approach using concepts from physics, chemistry, biology, polymer science and engineering, as well as computation and statistical mechanics. The grant supports the development of new computational tools to understand biotic-abiotic interactions at the molecular level, as well a team of student researchers, ranging from graduates and undergraduates to high school pupils.

“We have carried out quantitative molecular simulations of inorganic-organic interfaces in excellent agreement with experimental results and developed accurate molecular models for inorganic components,” Heinz explained. “These concepts serve as a starting point for understanding biomineralization processes and the performance of hybrid photovoltaic cells, as current examples. Our research efforts aim at complementing experimental results by molecular-level models to intelligently design (bio)molecules, interfaces, and, ultimately, devices.”

Heinz’ research is supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory/ Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, ETH Zurich, Sika Technology AG, Procter and Gamble, The University of Akron and with computational resources provided by the Ohio Supercomputer Center.

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) is a catalytic partner of Ohio universities and industries, providing a reliable high performance computing and high performance networking infrastructure for a diverse statewide/regional community including education, academic research, industry, and state government. Funded by the Ohio Board of Regents, OSC promotes and stimulates computational research and education in order to act as a key enabler for the state's aspirations in advanced technology, information systems, and advanced industries.

Founded in the early 1980's, the Department of Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron has grown into a pre-eminent education and research center for polymer engineering and technology relating to innovative and traditional polymer products and processes. The University of Akron is a coeducational public research university located in Akron, Ohio, part of the University System of Ohio. Founded in 1870, the University of Akron is a STEM-focused institution regarded as a world leader in polymer research.

Jamie Abel | Ohio Supercomputer Center
Further information:
http://www.osc.edu
http://www.poly-eng.uakron.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>