Home > Yichun Wang: Deciphering Multiscale Extracellular Matrix and Interfaces for Rational Design of Nanotherapeutics

Yichun Wang: Deciphering Multiscale Extracellular Matrix and Interfaces for Rational Design of Nanotherapeutics


2/27/2020 at 4:00PM


2/27/2020 at 5:00PM


B01 McCourtney hall


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Edward Maginn

Edward Maginn

VIEW FULL PROFILE Email: ed@nd.edu
Phone: 574-631-5687
Website: http://www.nd.edu/~ed/
Office: 250 Nieuwland Hall


Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dorini Family Professor of Energy Studies and Department Chair
College of Engineering Dorini Family Professor of Energy Studies and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
The research in our group focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of the link between the physical properties of materials and their chemical constitution. Much of our work is devoted to applications related to energy and the environment. The main tool we use is molecular simulation. In ...
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Deciphering Multiscale Extracellular Matrix and Interfaces for Rational Design of Nanotherapeutics

Microbial biofilms and most eukaryotic tissues consist of cells embedded in a three-dimensional (3D)
extracellular matrix (ECM). These multicellular systems contain a high density of interfaces comprised of
nanoscale components such as cell membranes, proteins and their assemblies, of which the architectures
can provide locally heterogeneous nano/micro-environments differing in porosity/diffusion, stiffness and
nutrient levels. Deciphering such heterogeneous systems are essential for rational design of therapeutic
strategies targeting the ECM and interfaces, yet, challenging due to the exceptional complexity of
thermodynamic states and kinetic processes at interfaces spanning at least seven decimal orders of scales
in time and dimension. In this seminar, I will introduce the multiscale/multidisciplinary approaches
merging computational methods, microscopy, spectroscopy and bio-evaluation models, converging on 3D
organization of nanoscale components in the ECM and associated interfaces, within the same range of
reconfiguration times and spatial dimensions. In particular, I will discuss our discoveries on
heterogeneous multicellular systems from biofilm to liver tumor tissue, focusing on 1) molecular
architecture and functions of amyloid proteins and their assemblies in ECM nano/micro-environment; 2)
dynamics of cell membranes at the interfaces in the living matrix; 3) multicellular organization in the
scale of complex tissues. These findings led us to the design and discovery of nanotherapeutics effectively
targeting the nanoscale components of ECM and interfaces. Lastly, the convergent approaches and
multidiscipline efforts provide a unique platform to develop, implement, and iteratively improve
integrated design protocols applicable to new materials and devices, aiming to advance their applications
in healthcare and environment.

Seminar Speaker:

Yichun Wang

University of Michigan

Yichun Wang is a postdoctoral research fellow in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan,
working as a key member of a cross-disciplinary team with Prof. Angela Violi (Computation), Prof.
Nicholas A. Kotov (Material Science) and Prof. J. Scott VanEpps (Emergency Medicine). Her
current research is focused on the development of new generation nanobiotics targeting amyloid protein
in extracellular matrix of biofilm. She obtained the PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from the
University of Michigan under the guidance of Prof. Nicholas A. Kotov. Her dissertation is focused on
theoretical and experimental framework of ex-vivo evaluation system based on engineered 3D tissue
culture models with tunable microenvironment. She received a BS in Biological Science and Medical
Engineering from the Southeast University. She takes multidisciplinary approaches to converge
engineering, theoretical model and computation in nanotechnology and human health, focusing on the
interfaces in multicellular systems from microbiota biofilms to human tissues, in order to provide insights
and advances of nanomaterials in healthcare. She is currently serving as a committee member of
International Postdoctoral Association at the University of Michigan and has been committed to the
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) education and training of many students and researchers through
her leadership and mentorship.