James K. Knowles Lectures & Caltech Solid Mechanics Symposium
Nanomaterials, including various types of nanoparticles, nanowires, nanofibers, nanotubes, and atomically thin plates and sheets have emerged as candidates as building blocks for the next generation electronics, microchips, composites, barrier coatings, energy harvesting and conversion systems, biosensors, and nanomedicine. There is now an urgent societal need to understand the biological interactions and environmental impact of nanomaterials which are being produced and released into the environment by nearly a million tons per year, as well as to explore applications of nanomedicine to treat cancer and other diseases. This talk aims to discuss mechanics as an enabling tool in this emerging field of study. The discussions will touch on some of the recent experimental, modelling and simulation studies on cell uptake pathways of nanaomaterials with different geometrical (e.g., size, shape, orientation), mechanical (e.g., stiffness) and chemical (e.g., surface functionalization) properties of nanomaterials; cellular and Intracellular packaging of nanomaterials and cytotoxicity; and toxicity and damage mechanisms of nanomaterials to cells and membranes.