Prof. Paul S. Weiss, a leading American nanoscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, visited ICMAB on 15 November 2021. He holds numerous positions, including UC Presidential Chair, he is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Bioengineering, and of Materials Science and Engineering, as well as founder and editor-in-chief of ACS Nano.
The professor was invited by Agustín Mihi and Leonardo Scarabelli, from the Nanostructured Materials for Optoelectronics and Energy Harvesting (NANOPTO) Group to give an Invited Seminar on “Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology and Medicine”. The talk explored the ways in which nanotechnology can be used to measure and also influence the outcome of biological processes at that scale, through the fabrication and use of nanoestructures to advance high-throughput gene editing for cellular therapies targeting genetic diseases and cancer immunotherapy. Researchers can exploit supramolecular assembly, acoustofluidics, specific surface functionalization, and plasmonics to enable these processes. Int his way, nanoscience contributes to a wide range of other fields, from neuroscience to the microbiome.
After a visit through the institute and the Invited Seminar, Prof. Paul S. Weiss had meetings with different ICMAB Principal Investigators to learn more about the research that is being carried out at ICMAB. Professor Weiss tutored Leonardo Scarabelli, ICMAB Researcher from the NANOPTO Group, during his Post Doctorate, and is now collaborating with him and Agustín Mihi on the project “Chemically Controlled Soft Lithography for Bottom-Up Fabrication of Hybrid Plasmonic Structures: Nanoscale Precision for Energy Applications”.
In this project, which is part of the i-Link+ CSIC program, researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), University of Chemistry and Technology (UCT), the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) collaborate to try and address the limitations often present in the fabrication and characterization of hybrid plasmonic nanomaterials, such as low colloidal stability, the need for multi-step self-assembly, and non-scalable costly lithography. Prof. Paul S. Weiss and Gail A. Vinnacombe-Willson are involved in the Year 1 of the project, focusing on the control of plasmonic properties in situ, to achieve the proper adaptation of colloidal nanocrystal growth to achieve the direct synthesis of plasmonic nanostructures with well-controlled geometries directly onto polymer substrates.