Webinar | Chicago Future Manufacturing Seminar Series | Part 3

Webinar | Chicago Future Manufacturing Seminar Series | Part 3

MxD, University of Chicago, and our partner institutions are proud to introduce the Chicago Future Manufacturing Seminar Series. This series will feature invited speakers to discuss cutting-edge research on future manufacturing (e.g., ecomanufacturing and cybermanufacturing) – working in tandem through the NSF-funded MADE-PUBLIC project to establish an intelligent, scalable, and democratized manufacturing paradigm that allows for distributed printing of low-cost, biodegradable, and recyclable electronic devices using locally identifiable resources, such as bio-based materials derived from plants.

January 27, 2022 – Part 3: Protein-Based Plastics as Next-Gen Renewable Materials: Challenges and Opportunities

This talk will present Dr. Helen Zha’s latest work in the biomanufacturing of sustainable protein-based plastics. Nature provides extraordinary examples of high-performance polymers with properties often surpassing those of man-made plastics. Protein-based materials are particularly interesting because their palette of amino acid “monomers” and their precisely controlled sequence can give rise to complex properties based on the synergy of diverse intermolecular interactions. Furthermore, protein-based plastics are made from renewable resources and are entirely biodegradable.

Dr. Zha’s research aims to develop new biotic and abiotic synthetic methods to produce silk-mimetic macromolecules with well-defined chemical structures and targeted material properties. These innovations have potential applications in environmental sustainability (e.g., biodegradable plastics for a circular economy) and in healthcare (e.g., materials for tissue engineering and drug release). Join this webinar to hear about the challenges and opportunities presented by this research.

4:00pm – 4:10pm – MxD & MADE-PUBLIC Intro
4:10pm – 4:45pm – Protein-Based Plastics as Next-Gen Renewable Materials
4:45pm – 5:00pm – Q&A with Dr. Zha

This webinar was originally recorded on January 27, 2022.