Dr. Katerina E. Aifantis: Mechanical Behavior of Cells and Biomaterials 06/30/21 at 11:00 am

Legato Team (https://legato-team.eu/) has organised a seminar on the topic Mechanical Behavior of Cells and Biomaterials. I am writing this email to invite you all to attend this insightful seminar that will be held on June 30, 2021 at Room No: MNO-E01-0146030 (Maison du Nombre) at 11:00 am (Limited places available due to Covid restrictions). You can also attend the seminar through Webex as well as Youtube live (Links are given below).

The seminar will surely be helpful for all students as well as researchers, thus do participate and gain maximum benefit out of it. 


Introduction to Speaker:


Dr. Katerina E. Aifantis

Associate Professor,

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,

University of Florida


Dr. Katerina E. Aifantis received her PhD from the University of Groningen in 2005 at the age of 21, becoming the youngest PhD in the Netherlands. After a short post-doctoral period at Harvard/US and at Ecole des Mines of Paris/France, She became the youngest recipient of the European Research Council Starting/ERC Grant at the age of 24, which she carried out at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, between 2008-2013. In 2013, she joined the University of Arizona as an Associate Professor, and since 2017 she has been an Associate Professor and Faculty Fellow at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of the University of Florida, where she set up the Laboratory of Nanomaterials for Energy and Biological Applications. Her research primarily focuses on using solid mechanics for understanding materials behavior at the nanoscale, such as dislocation-grain boundary and dislocation-graphene interactions. In addition to basic science questions, she uses her theoretical and experimental insight to predict the most promising materials systems that can be used in various applications, ranging from next generation electrodes for Li-ion batteries, to bone regeneration scaffolds and bioacompatible electrodes for deep brain stimulation.

* When: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 
Time: 11:00 a.m. (Paris time)

* Where:

Room No MNO-E01-0146030Maison du Nombre, University of Luxembourg (Belval Campus)  (Limited places available due to Covid restrictions).  

Webex Meet room: https://unilu.webex.com/unilu/j.php?MTID=m1a56ac0cc40f6070f0496603684679c7

Youtube link: https://youtu.be/M8WQFBSJkbs


* Title: Mechanical Behavior of Cells and Biomaterials


* Abstract:

       The present talk will focus on understanding the mechanical behavior of cells and biomaterials. Tissue regeneration is an area which depends on the ability to develop materials that poses the appropriate combination of microstructure and stiffness that promote cell adhesion and differentiation. Heart patches are a most challenging case, as they need to be seeded with cardiomyocytes and then placed in the infracted area of the heart. New polymer blends of Poly(Glycerol Sebacate) (PGS) prepolymer and Polybutaline Succinate (PBS-DLA) are introduced as possible patches, as they increase the viability of myocytes, depending on their elastic modulus and porosity.

      In the second part, similar fibrous materials will be used to study cancer cell evasion. Collagen co-polymers will be used of different concentrations in order to change the porosity while glutaraldehyde will be employed to change the stiffness. Seeding the different samples with evasive cancer cells, allows to capture the interplay between tissue pore size versus stiffness in promoting cell migration.

       In the third part, similar experimental tools used in determining the mechanical properties of biomaterials, will be used to examine the deformation of cells. Particularly, atomic force microscopy will be employed to capture the effects that the common blood thinning medication, pentoxifylline, has on the elastic modulus of red blood cells. This was the first in vivo experiment of its kind, as the blood samples were taken from human subjects taking this medication. In continuing to a different setup, optical tweezers will be used to show that cells undergo plastic deformation in addition to viscoelastic deformation.