Chemistry Seminar Series

Wed, 27 Mar 2019

Dr. Jose Moran-Mirabal

McMaster University

Micro- and Nano-structured Materials: From Stretchable Gold to “Green Materials” for Tissue Engineering

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
WMC 3210 @ 3:30 p.m.

Host: Dr. Paul Li


Surfaces with topographies containing features that span from the micro- to the nanoscale are of interest for a wide range of applications including stretchable electronics, sensing, analytical separations, and cell culture, to name a few. This presentation will describe our efforts in the fabrication and implementation of micro- and nanostructured materials. In one research focus area, our group has developed a simple, rapid, inexpensive method for the fabrication of micro- and nanostructured surfaces from a variety of thin films based on the use of thermoresponsive shape-memory polymer substrates. I will describe this bench-top approach to fabrication, demonstrate the different length scales of the topographies produced, and show examples of the multiplicity of materials that can be used in this fabrication technique. Applications of the resulting materials to electrochemical sensors, flexible conductive materials, and cell culture will also be discussed. In a second research focus area, our group has pioneered a modular approach to modify the surface chemistry of polysaccharides and used these to graft small molecules that render nanocellulose functional. This presentation will also describe our surface chemistry approach, the characterization and some applications of the resulting materials, including the development of biocompatible 3D printing resins.


Jose Moran-Mirabal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University, and the Canada Research Chair in Micro and Nanostructured Materials. Jose’s research combines strengths in micro- and nanofabrication, surface chemistry, and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy to design and study materials at the micrometer to nanometer scale. Current research projects in his laboratory include the development of modular surface modification approaches for the functionalization of cellulosic materials; the development of bench-top approaches for the production of micro- and nanostructured surfaces and the development of micropatterning approaches to produce complex surface patterns of lipids and cells to study cell-lipid and cell-cell interactions.

Jose obtained a BSc in Engineering Physics and MSc in Biotechnology from ITESM, in Monterrey, Mexico. He then joined the group of Prof. Harold Craighead at Cornell University, where he performed research on the application of micro- and nanofabricated surfaces for the study of lipid membranes. He received his PhD in Applied Physics from Cornell University in 2007. He worked as Post-Doctoral (2007-2009) and Research Associate (2009-2011) in the Biofuels Research Laboratory at Cornell University under the supervision of Prof. Larry Walker. There, he applied quantitative fluorescence methods to the study of cellulase binding kinetics, binding reversibility, and catalysis. Jose joined the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University in July 2011.

Dr. Jose Moran-Mirabal

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

McMaster University

905-525-9140 x24507