Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Simulations aim to unlock nature's process of biomineralization

Date:
December 11, 2010
Source:
Ohio Supercomputer Center
Summary:
Researchers are leveraging advanced modeling and simulation resources to study the process of biomineralization, nature's ability to form complex structures, such as bones, teeth and mollusk shells. This natural phenomenon, if harnessed, could lead to the design of composite materials and devices for such applications as bone replacement, sensing systems, efficient energy generation and treatment of diseases.

A University of Akron researcher is leveraging advanced modeling and simulation techniques to more precisely understand how organic materials bond to inorganic materials, a natural phenomenon that if harnessed, could lead to the design of composite materials and devices for such applications as bone replacement, sensing systems, efficient energy generation and treatment of diseases.

Hendrik Heinz, Ph.D., an assistant professor of polymer engineering at UA, is accessing the systems of the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) to study the process of biomineralization, nature's ability to form complex structures, such as bones, teeth and mollusk shells, from peptides.

"Research in our group aims at the understanding of complex interfacial phenomena, particularly biomineralization and organic photovoltaics, at the molecular scale using computer simulation," said Heinz. "Simulation with atomistic and coarse-grain models and the development of computational tools goes hand in hand with collaborative experimental efforts."

"Advanced materials remains one of the cornerstones of research supported by the Ohio Supercomputer Center and is fundamental to both the economic legacy and future prospects for the State of Ohio," noted Ashok Krishnamurthy. "OSC is committed to providing state-of-the-art computational and storage resources to scientists, such as Dr. Heinz, who are focused on the design of fascinating new classes and applications of materials."

In a recent paper published by Interface, a journal of The Royal Society, Heinz describes how induced charges modify the interaction of proteins, peptides and bond-enhancing surfactants with metal surfaces. In another recent article, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Heinz explains how he used molecular dynamics simulations to investigate molecular interactions involved in the selective binding of several short peptides to the surfaces of gold, palladium and a palladium-gold bimetal.

"Advances in materials science such as in biomedical and energy conversion devices increasingly rely on computational techniques and modeling," Heinz said. "In particular, interfaces at the nanoscale are difficult to characterize experimentally, such as charge transport mechanisms in solar cells, the formation of biominerals, and self-assembly of polymers in multi-component materials. Model building and simulation are critical to understand dynamic processes across the length and time scales."

This summer, Heinz received $430,000 for two years of research funding from the National Science Foundation's CAREER award program. Heinz and his research team are taking an interdisciplinary approach using concepts from physics, chemistry, biology, polymer science and engineering, as well as computation and statistical mechanics. The grant supports the development of new computational tools to understand biotic-abiotic interactions at the molecular level, as well a team of student researchers, ranging from graduates and undergraduates to high school pupils.

"We have carried out quantitative molecular simulations of inorganic-organic interfaces in excellent agreement with experimental results and developed accurate molecular models for inorganic components," Heinz explained. "These concepts serve as a starting point for understanding biomineralization processes and the performance of hybrid photovoltaic cells, as current examples. Our research efforts aim at complementing experimental results by molecular-level models to intelligently design (bio)molecules, interfaces, and, ultimately, devices."

Heinz' research is supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory/ Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, ETH Zurich, Sika Technology AG, Procter and Gamble, The University of Akron and with computational resources provided by the Ohio Supercomputer Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio Supercomputer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Hendrik Heinz, Kshitij C. Jha, Jutta Luettmer-Strathmann, Barry L. Farmer and Rajesh R. Naik. Polarization at metal–biomolecular interfaces in solution. Interface, Online July 14, 2010 DOI: 10.1098/​rsif.2010.0318
  2. Hendrik Heinz, Barry L. Farmer, Ras B. Pandey, Joseph M. Slocik, Soumya S. Patnaik, Ruth Pachter, Rajesh R. Naik. Nature of Molecular Interactions of Peptides with Gold, Palladium, and Pd−Au Bimetal Surfaces in Aqueous Solution. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009; 131 (28): 9704 DOI: 10.1021/ja900531f

Cite This Page:

Ohio Supercomputer Center. "Simulations aim to unlock nature's process of biomineralization." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209121425.htm>.
Ohio Supercomputer Center. (2010, December 11). Simulations aim to unlock nature's process of biomineralization. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209121425.htm
Ohio Supercomputer Center. "Simulations aim to unlock nature's process of biomineralization." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209121425.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins