Charles M. Lieber, Harvard University
Nanowires, Nanoelectronics and Revolutionary Tools for Brain Science
The Materials Research Society's highest honor, the Von Hippel Award, is conferred annually to an individual in recognition of the recipient's outstanding contribution to interdisciplinary research on materials.
Charles M. Lieber is honored “for pioneering contributions to nanoscience, defining the foundations of rational synthesis of nanoscale wires, characterization of their fundamental physical properties, and the development of applications of these materials in chemistry, biology and medicine.”
Nanoscale materials enable unique opportunities at the interface between the physical and life sciences, for example, by integrating nanoelectronic devices with cells to communicate at the length scales relevant to biological function. In this presentation, the development of electronics as powerful tools for probing the activity of single cells to cell networks of tissues will be discussed. First, I will introduce key constraints for developing electronic devices for biological studies, and our advances that have led to nanoelectronic probes capable of cellular studies, including intracellular measurements and biochemical targeting, heretofore not possible. Second, an "out-of-the-box" approach for seamlessly merging nanoelectronic arrays with the brain using syringe-injectable polymer-like mesh electronics will be discussed, including quantitative studies demonstrating unprecedented absence of tissue immune response and stable recording at the single neuron/neural circuit level for more than a year. Finally, I will discuss the prospects for broad-ranging applications in the life sciences—from basic research to electronic therapeutics—as the distinction between electronic and living systems is blurred in the future.
About Charles M. Lieber
Charles M. Lieber received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Franklin and Marshall College and Stanford University, respectively, and carried out postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology. He was an assistant professor at Columbia University, and now holds appointments at Harvard University in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is the Mark Hyman Professor of Chemistry, and the Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Lieber has pioneered the synthesis of nanowire materials, the characterization of the fundamental properties of these materials, methods of hierarchical assembly of nanowires, and applications of these materials in nanoelectronics, nanophotonics and bioelectronics. Current work is focused at the electronics-biology interface with an emphasis on creation of new tools for neuroscience and cell biology, as well as paradigm-shifting three-dimensional mesh electronics for seamless integrations with the brain and nervous system.