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Biomimetic Chemistry Research Group School of Chemistry THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES. Dr. Pall Thordarson (Palli) Senior Lecturer Chemistry UNSW. Tall Poppy NSW. What has Chemistry ever done for us and what can Nanotechnology do for us?. My background:

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Biomimetic Chemistry

Research Group

School of Chemistry

THE UNIVERSITY OF

NEW SOUTH WALES

Dr. Pall Thordarson

(Palli)

Senior Lecturer

Chemistry

UNSW

Tall Poppy

NSW

What has Chemistry ever done for us

and what can

Nanotechnology do for us?


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My background:

1971: Born Vopnafjordur, Iceland, grew up on a farm

1991: High School, Egilsstadir, Iceland – Natural Science stream

1995: BSc. Chemistry – University of Iceland, Reykjavik

1996: Research worker – Science Institute

Main project: Polyunsaturated fatty acids from cod liver oil

1997: Came to Australia, PhD at the University of Sydney

Main project: Self-replicating systems

2000: Volunteer at the Olympics (including horse handler)

2001: PhD Graduation, The University of Sydney

2001: Marie Curie Fellow, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Main project: Mimicking DNA-enzymes

2003: Back to Australia, The University of Sydney

2006: Australian Research Council – Australian Research Fellow

2007: Australian Citizen

2007: Senior Lecturer UNSW

2008: NSW Tall Poppy Science Award


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What do I do now?

(not much – my co-workers do it all!)

Light-driven bio-hybrids

My co-workers:

4 BSc. Hons. students

4 PhD Students

2 Post-doctoral Fellows

1 Research Assistant

Self-assembled gel

Self-assembled gels for drug delivery

Biomimetic Chemistry Research Group

School of Chemistry

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES


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  • What has Chemistry ever done for us

  • and what can

  • Nanotechnology do for us?

  • What has Chemistry ever done for us

  • Would you be alive without modern chemistry?


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Would you be alive without modern chemistry?

Penicillin – still saving people from deadly infections

(did you ever get an ear infection?)

Relenza – might save us TOMORROW from the Swine-Flu!

(invented by Australian Chemists in 1989)


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Would you be alive without modern chemistry?

Artificial Fertiliser:

Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) – has it allowed up to 4 billion more people on this planet?

World population:

1900 = 2 Billion

2000 = 6 Billion

NH4NO3 first made in ca. 1910

Coincidence?


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Chemistry has also had an enormous social impact

Time 7th April, 1967

When these two steroids are mixed we call it

“The pill”

Norethisterone

Ethinylestradiol


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Chemistry has also had an enormous social impact

Time 4th May, 1998

30 years later – Chemists at the Drug company Pfizer were looking for a new drug for high blood pressure:

Sildenafil

These scientists discovered some interesting side-effects in male patients

The marketing people called it:

VIAGRA

(the “blue pill”)


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  • What has Chemistry ever done for us

  • and what can

  • Nanotechnology do for us?

  • 2. So what can Nanotechnology do for us?

  • What is Nanotechnology?


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What is Nanotechnology?

The science of very small things

This is not small, these are micro, not Nano

The making of useful devices or machines where in at least one dimension the fabrication is controlled in the nanometer scale

http://mems.sandia.gov/scripts/images.asp


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Device Manufacture

Molecular Science

What is nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology


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1025m

~1 billion light years, the approximate range of universe observed by human being

1014m

100 billion km (or 0.1 Pm, Petametre) the complete orbit of planet Pluto

The Scale in Meters

1021m

~ 100,000 light years, roughly the size of Milky Way

107m

10,000 km, we can see most of the world


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The Scale in Meters

10 m

we can see the players in the field

10-4m

100 mm

we can see the cells in a human body (~17 mm)

  • 103m

  • 1 km

  • we can see the arrangement of houses

  • 10-2m

  • 1 cm

  • details of the skin


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The Scale in Meters

10-7m

100nm, we can see a strand of DNA

10-10m

100 pm (pico), the size of an atom surrounded by electron cloud

  • 10-6m

  • 1mm, clustering of chromosomes

  • 10-9m

  • 1nm, the molecular structure of DNA


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The Scale in Meter

10-14m

10fm, we can see the protons and neutrons in the nucleus

10-16m

100 am (atto), the quarks in details (~10-19m)

  • 10-13 m

  • 100fm (femto), we can see the nucleus of an atom

  • 10-15m

  • 1fm, we can see the quarks which form the protons and neutrons


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WHY NANOTECHNOLOGY?

  • Information Technology

  • Defense

  • Health and Medicine

  • Minerals/Chemical Processing

  • Cosmetics

Nanotechnology has impacted us primarily in:


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WHY NANOTECHNOLOGY?

  • Fundamentally new properties

  • Exciting new mechanisms

  • Strange and Fancy Size Dependent Behavior!!


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Colour of nanophase materials vary according tothe size of their constituent grains, orclusters.

All four vials above contain Cadmium Selenide. But because these otherwise identical samples all have different-size clusters, each takes on different hue under white light (left) and ultraviolet light (right).


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From Nature to Science

  • The lotus leaf is considered sacred in Oriental religions for its ability to stay dry and clean. When water drops on the leaf, it beads up and rolls off the waxy surface, washing away dirt as it goes.


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  • When a lotus leaf is examined under a high-powered microscope, it does not have the waxy, smooth surface that appears to the naked eye. Rather, it is bumpy—a characteristic that aids repelling water


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NanoPowders– It’s what you can’t see

  • Nanopowders are transparent to visible light.


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-

  • Biomimetic Nanotechnology

  • Cheap solar cells from nanocrystalline TiO2 to reduce greenhouse gas emission

(Electricity from the Sun)

Conducting glass

TiO2 film

Porphyrin dye

Electrolyte with I-/I-3

Biomimicry

Biomimetic Chemistry Research Group

School of Chemistry

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES


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What do I do?

Light-driven bio-hybrids

Biomimetic Chemistry Research Group

School of Chemistry

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES


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Nanotechnology in Medicine

  • Tiny detectives: this optical nanofiber can be used to study a particular cell without destroying it.


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Nanofiber gels and tissue engineering

Hydrophobic Hydrophilic

C18-GlyGlyGlyGlyAlaAlaAlaGluIleLysValAlaVal

(C18-GGGAAAAEIKVAV)

Growth promotor

for neural cells

(epitope)

G. A. Silva, C. Czeisler, K. L. Niece, E. Beniash, D. A. Harrington, J. A. Kessler and S. I. Stupp, Science, 2004, 303, 1352.


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Nanofiber gels and tissue engineering

Self-assembly

Self-assembly

Promotes neural

regrowth in spinal injuries!

1 mm

G. A. Silva, C. Czeisler, K. L. Niece, E. Beniash, D. A. Harrington, J. A. Kessler and S. I. Stupp, Science, 2004, 303, 1352.


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Nanofiber gels and tissue engineering

Self-assembly

Promotes neural

regrowth in spinal injuries!

Movies

G. A. Silva, C. Czeisler, K. L. Niece, E. Beniash, D. A. Harrington, J. A. Kessler and S. I. Stupp, Science, 2004, 303, 1352.


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Self-assembled gels and Tissue Engineering

Mimicking the Extracellular Matrix (ECM)

The ECM controls cell-cell interactions and growth

Important for tissue regeneration, tumour growth…


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What do I do?

Self-assembled gels for drug delivery

Self-assembled gel

Drug release from self-assembled gels

Cancer drug release

Biomimetic Chemistry Research Group

School of Chemistry

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES


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Thanks to:

My group:

Sabrina, Josh, Alex, Shiva, Katie,

Danny, David, Lip Son, Warren,

Ski, Ben and Alice

$$$ for my work:

Australian Research Council

NSW Cancer Institute

My wife for her patience

For giving me the opportunity to speak to you:

Australian Institute of Policy & Science/The Tall Poppy Champaign

And finally YOU!


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