Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

CIS Department Talk - February 8, 2010

The Department of Computer and Information Science & Fordham College at Rose Hill Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar in Bioinformatics Present

Speaker: Dr. Ipsita Banerjee, Department of Chemistry, Fordham University
Topic:Self-Assembly and Growth of Pepetide and Phytohormone Based Nanostructures and Their Applications
Date:February 8, 2010
Place:Keating Hall, Room 105


Drawing on recent developments in nanoscale engineering and molecular biology, biomimetics is emerging as a hybrid methodology that combines nature's molecular tools with synthetic nanoscale constructs. Biomimetic materials can be used as nanoprobes for cell bioimaging, as building blocks for microscale electronic devices, or as sensors in biomedical and fluid engineering applications. In this work, peptide nanostructures were prepared using newly synthesized bolaamphiphiles and their self-assembly process and morphologies were studied. The tubular nanostructures were self-assembled in aqueous media and were used as templates for growth of calcium phosphate nanocrystals or binding with chitosan, a naturally occurring polysaccharide. The biocompatibilities of the coated nanotubes were studied by conducting in vitro cell-attachment, cell proliferation and cytotoxicity studies using mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. The studies revealed that the biomaterials were found to be non-toxic and biocompatible. Various other applications such as biomineralization for the formation of size-controlled nanocrystals were also studied. Such functionalized nanomaterials could potentially be used for biomedical applications and in opto-electronics and sensors. We have also developed a biomimetic approach utilizing the pH sensitive nature of newly designed peptide bolaamphiphiles and studied their potential as nanoreactors for formation of semiconductor nanoparticles. Such mild biomimetic methods would be an environmentally friendly approach toward the synthesis of semiconductor nanoparticles and can be extended to synthesis of a wide range of nanomaterials. In a separate study, we have also investigated the self-assembly of gibberellic acid, a naturally occurring diterpenoid based phytohormone, which belongs to the family of gibberellins, and designed amide derivatives of gibberellic acid (GA3) for the facile, green synthesis of gold nanoparticles.

Brief Bio:

Dr. Banerjee received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Connecticut in Biological Chemistry following which she pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Notre Dame and at Hunter College in the field of Bionanotechnology. Dr. Banerjee has been working at Fordham since September 2004 and has authored/co-authored over 45 papers and articles in journals, book chapters and proceedings and over 65 conference abstracts.

Dr. Banerjee's research area is Bionanotechnology, a multidisciplinary field, which encompasses the creation of bio-devices/systems at the nanoscale level for a wide range of applications. Her research interests are geared toward the design and synthesis of nanomaterials for potential biomedical applications and molecular therapeutics for tissue-regeneration, drug delivery, examining the mechanisms of peptide folding (both natural and artificial), catalysis and green synthetic methods for preparation of nanoparticles. Specifically, her research group is working on building novel supramolecular nanostructures from specific phytohormones and peptide sequences for the creation of highly sensitive tailored cell-surface adhesive materials. Another aspect of her research involves the use of biomineralization techniques, and templating nanostructures for preparation of new improved materials for catalysis and bioprocesses such as enhancement of enzyme stabilization and, applications as antibacterial materials, nanodevice fabrications for optoelectronics and biosensors.

For more information and direction, please contact Ms. Danielle Aprea (718) 817-4480 or


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