Engineered biointerfaces - for applications from biology to magnonics

Naturvetenskap & IT

Seminarium med Jenny Malmström från the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering vid University of Auckland och MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

19 sep 2023
14:00 - 15:00

Jenny Malmström, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland


Many artificial materials pale in comparison to biological counterparts. Biological smart materials are self-assembled, from sustainable resources, before being seamlessly recycled into the biosphere at the end of their usefulness. In our research group, we use materials engineering to both understand nature better, and as an inspiration to create advanced materials.

Illustration for seminar

This seminar will cover topics from self-assembly to pattern polyoxometalates (POM) at surfaces to how we engineer hydrogels to better understand how mammalian cells sense their surroundings. While these topics appear disparate, they are linked by the materials engineering approaches used.

I will show how we have created nanoscale patterns of magnetic POMs and particles at interfaces, with an aim to create self-assembled magnonic crystals. When weakly antiferromagnetic POMs are arrayed at a ferromagnetic thin film, we detect some intriguing interface effects.

I will also present on some of the hydrogels we work with, where we aim to control the mechanical properties in space or time. Cells sense and adapt to forces and physical constraints imposed by the surrounding extra cellular matrix. Such mechanotransduction plays a crucial role in cell function, differentiation, and cancer. Our hydrogel research stems from a need for better experimental systems to understand these intricate phenomena. For example, we have combined a redox active conducting polymer with a temperature sensitive polyNIPAM hydrogel to achieve a soft hydrogel gel with electrically switchable modulus.

About the speaker

Jenny Malmström

Jenny Malmström is an Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland and a PI of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. Currently, she is on research and study leave at Ångströmslaboratoriet, Uppsala University. She received her MSc degree in Bioengineering from Chalmers and a Ph.D. in Nanoscience from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. From Denmark she moved to Auckland, where she joined the School of Chemical Sciences as a post-doctoral research fellow. Her research focusses on creating functional biointerfaces to understand and control biological systems and she is also interested in the non-classical properties of biological molecules, such as piezoelectricity, and the use self-assembly to create advanced materials.