We are pleased to present Professor Marcela Bilek to speak about reagent-free bio-functionalisable devices, scaffolds and nanoparticles.

Date: Thursday, 23 September

Time: 12 - 1pm

Venue: Online Via Zoom

Click here to access the free seminar.


Bio-functionalized surfaces are of great interest for a wide range of applications, particularly in biomedical diagnostics and implantable medical devices. We have shown that radicals created in organic materials and thin films by energetic ion bombardment, facilitate simple, one-step and reagent-free surface-functionalisation [1]. Covalent immobilisation of functional biomolecules is achieved by immersion or spotting / painting of the biomolecule-containing solutions onto the activated materials. This strategy simplifies covalent functionalisation of surfaces enormously, eliminating the need for wet-chemistry and the associated solvent disposal and yield problems. It has been used to immobilise bioactive peptides, antibodies, enzymes, single stranded DNA, and extra-cellular matrix proteins [2] onto many materials, including polymers, metals and ceramics.
This presentation will examine the fundamental science and process adaptions that extend the application of these techniques to functionalisation of the internal surfaces of complex, porous materials and micro/nanostructures. Applications enabling biological studies of the response of individual cells to proteins on a sub-cellular scale [3], and the preparation of multi-functionalisable nanoparticles [4] will be discussed.
Finally, the surface embedded radicals are shown to enable polymerisation of hydrogels from the surface [5] and control of the density and orientation of surface-immobilised bioactive peptides through pH variations and/or the application of external electric fields during the immobilization [6].

The three things the audience will learn from this seminar are:
1) that ionised vapours can embed long-lived radicals in organic materials;
2) how these radials can be harnessed to add complex biological functionality to synthetic materials, creating biologically functional interfaces;
3) ways in which this approach can be used to enhance crucial interactions at biointerfaces to benefit applications ranging from implantable biomedical devices, in-vitro culture, diagnostics and therapeutics.

[1] PNAS 108:14405-14410 (2011);
[2] Appl. Surf Sci 310:3-10 (2014);
[3] ACS Appl. Mater. and Interfaces (2018);
[4] ACS Appl. Nano Materials (2018);
[5] Adv. Funct. Materials (2020);
[6] Nat. Comm. 9:357 (2018)


Presenter: Professor Marcela Bilek, Professor of Applied Physics and Surface Engineering, The University of Sydney

Photo of Macela BilekMarcela Bilek is Professor of Applied Physics and Surface Engineering at the University of Sydney. She has pioneered plasma immersion ion implantation processes to activate surfaces for reagent-free, spontaneous covalent immobilisation of functional bioactive molecules and published over 350 refereed journal articles, 1 book, 5 book chapters and 13 patents. Her honours and prizes include the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year (2002); ARC Federation Fellowship (2003); Australian Academy of Science Pawsey Medal (2004); Australian Innovation Challenge Award (2011); ARC Future Fellowship (2012); election to the Fellowship of the American Physical Society (APS, 2012), the IEEE (2015) and AVS (2020); the inaugural Plasma Surface Engineering Leading Scientist Award (2018) and an ARC Laureate Fellowship (2019).

About AIBN Seminar Series

The AIBN Seminar series showcases a range of seminars across different topics and disciplines