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 Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>