BME 7900 Seminar - Rong Yang, PhD



Weill Hall 226


We welcome our next speaker, Dr. Rong Yang. She is an Assistant Professor with the Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering here at Cornell. Functional Polymers and Bacteria: An Evolving Conversation Abstract: Polymer, the large molecule composed of many repeat units, is considered the most prevalent material of the modern age. The interactions between functional polymers and a highly ubiquitous biological system – bacteria, are of great interest in applications ranging from biomaterials and drug delivery to fouling control in membrane separation processes. Recent advances in polymer research have enabled nanoscale control of the synthesis, processing/assembly, and characterization of polymers. That molecular-level control is crucial for understanding the details of their interactions with the sub-micron-scale microbes, while enhancing the material performance in the aforementioned applications. We will highlight two examples of such advancement: (1) the engineered assembly of block copolymers for the treatment of otitis media, the main cause of pediatric antibiotic prescription, and (2) the synthesis of polymer nanolayers using initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition (iCVD) to control bacterial adhesion and beyond. We seek to underscore the importance of understanding and manipulating polymeric materials on the molecular level and to provide an outlook on extending the material-bacteria interactions beyond “kill or repel” towards signaling and control.