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Science and Mathematics

Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Micaela Matta

April 29, 2021 at 12:00pm1:00pm EDT

Virtual (See event details)

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The Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to welcome Dr. Micaela Matta, a Marie Curie Fellow at University of Liverpool. The seminar will be held on Zoom. Please email for Zoom info.

Title: Polymers and bioinspired materials for organic bioelectronics


Bioelectronic devices feature polymers able to transduce ionic signals into electric current. These mixed conducting materials are ideal to bridge the signalling gap with cells and neurons, thus they are being developed for biomedical implantable, diagnostic or sensing devices. Other important applications are in batteries, neuromorphic memories and circuits, iontronics and drug delivery.

Side chain engineering has proven successful towards enhancing ionic conductivity and hydrophilicity in conjugated polymers, making them suitable for mixed conduction. In collaboration with experimental groups, Dt. Matta is investigating the fundamental relationships between chemistry, morphology, electrolyte interactions and swelling of mixed conducting polymers using molecular dynamics simulations. These materials however have long term stability and biocompatibility issues hindering their use in bioelectronics.

An alternative path towards new mixed conductors is to exploit natural materials that are intrinsically biocompatible. Eumelanin (the black pigment in our skin and hair) is a protonic and electronic conductor, and thus a promising non-cytotoxic material for bioelectronics. Dr. Matta is developing the first comprehensive structure-property model of eumelanin-inspired polymers by integrating experimental data with molecular dynamics and electronic structure calculations. This insight will enable eumelanin’s use in bioinspired electronics.

This event was published on April 29, 2021.

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