2021 MRS Spring Meeting

Symposium Sessions


  • Broader Impact (BI)
  • Characterization and Modeling (CT)
  • Electronics and Optics (EL)
  • Energy and Sustainability (EN)
  • Nanoscale and Quantum Materials (NM)
  • Soft Materials and Biomaterials (SM)
  • Structural Materials (ST)

Symposium SM12—Bioinspired Macromolecular Assembly and Hybrid Materials—From Fundamental Science to Applications

Living organisms produce a wide variety of complex, nano-, micro-, and macroscale structured functional materials in an energy-efficient and highly reproducible manner, all under rather mild aqueous synthetic conditions. Throughout these processes, specialized biomacromolecules, such as proteins and peptides, enable 1) the hierarchical organization to assemble biomaterials and execute high-level functions; and 2) the precise control over crystal nucleation, growth kinetics, phase transformation, and self-assembly, ultimately giving rise to biominerals with versatile functions. Inspired by nature, numerous approaches have been developed for the design and synthesis of bioinspired materials by using engineered proteins, peptides, DNAs, and other sequence-defined synthetic polymers (e.g. peptoids). These efforts address one of the grand challenges of materials science—to design and synthesize functional materials that rival those found in biology.

This symposium will highlight recent developments in the areas of 1) bioinspired macromolecular self-assembly to exploit (bio)macromolecules as building blocks to create hierarchical materials, and 2) biomimetic control over crystallization including a) bioinspired control over inorganic (nano)crystal nucleation and growth, and b) nanoparticle self-assembly and attachment. This symposium will also address 3) the most recent insights obtained in the principles underlying (bio) macromolecular self-assembly and bio-controlled crystal formation (including using in situ molecular imaging and computational tools).

Topics will include:

  • Hierarchical assembly of proteins, peptides, peptoids, or other biomimetic polymers into nanostructured materials
  • Biomineralization
  • Bioinspired crystal growth
  • Bio-controlled nanoparticle self-assembly
  • In Situ characterization of bioinspired macromolecular self-assembly and bio-controlled inorganic crystal formation
  • Theory driven design of (bio)macromolecules for self-assembly and for controlling inorganic crystal formation
  • Biological applications of soft materials assembled from (bio)macromolecules that includes proteins, peptides, and peptoids

Invited Speakers:

  • David Baker (University of Washington, USA)
  • James De Yoreo (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA)
  • Fabrizio Gelain (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy)
  • Habil Hans Börner (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany)
  • Yu Huang (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
  • Takashi Kato (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
  • David Kisailus (University of California, Irvine, USA)
  • Marc Knecht (University of Miami, USA)
  • Xiang Yang Liu (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
  • Galia Maayan (Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
  • Rajesh Naik (Air Force Research Laboratory, USA)
  • Wim Noorduin (AMOLF, Netherlands)
  • Darrin Pochan (University of Delaware, USA)
  • Adrianne Rosales (The University of Texas at Austin, USA)
  • Nathaniel Rosi (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
  • Molly Stevens (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
  • Samuel Stupp (Northwestern University, USA)
  • Jing Sun (Qingdao University of Science & Technology, China)
  • Akif Tezcan (University of California, San Diego, USA)
  • Shu Yang (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Zhimou Yang (Nankai University, China)
  • Ronald Zuckermann (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Chun-Long Chen
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Physical Sciences Division

Fiona Meldrum
University of Leeds
School of Chemistry
United Kingdom

Ki Tae Nam
Seoul National University
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Republic of Korea

Tiffany Walsh
Deakin University
Institute for Frontier Materials

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature


Symposium Support