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Fundamentals of nanoscale materials and technology
Published on October 29, 2015 58 min
A selection of talks on Biochemistry
The ERK1/2 MAPK cascade
- Prof. Melanie H. Cobb
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, USA
Amino acid conjugation: mechanism and enzymology
- Dr. Kathleen Knights
- Flinders University, Australia
Welcome to the Henry Stewart Talks series on nanomedicine. I'm Richard Siegel, the Robert W. Hunt Professor of Material Science and Engineering, and director of the Nanotechnology Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
On the first slide, we see that the ages of the world are a history of materials, the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age. In the 19th century, as the industrial revolution began and one learned to add carbon to iron and produce steel of various types, steel dominated that century and the icons of that century, from the railroad during the middle of the century, to the icons of the end of the century in the Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and the Ferris wheel. In the 20th century, the rapid advance of science and the needs of the world developed three different classes of materials which dominated that century, and continue to dominate our lives today. Plastics in the early part of the century needed to replace the natural polymers of rubber and silk, that were no longer available during the war-time periods. In the middle of the century, silicon in its highest purity forms, which was needed to create the world of computers that we depend upon today, and finally, nanomaterials in the latter part of the 20th century, which we'll talk about today.
On the next slide, we see the background to the formation of nanomaterials and the interest that they have generated through the convergence of the three major branches of science that underlie them. The world of condensed matter of physics was through the latter part of the 20th century starting to focus on smaller and smaller objects down into the nanoscale. The world of biology transformed dramatically by the onset of molecular biology, was also working its way down in size from cell biology to molecular biology to functional design. The world of chemistry, starting with atoms and smaller molecules, working up the scale into the nanoscale to polymer chemistry, complex chemistry and supramolecular chemistry. There was a convergence in the latter part of the 20th century that allowed us to start thinking about the integrated use of physical laws, biological principles and chemical properties going forward in making new materials.