Seminar Series: Albena Ivanisevic, Ph.D. – Friday, 3/2/2018, 11:00 A.M.

JSNN Seminar Series

Title: “Electronic Properties of Wide Bandgap Semiconductors:  Tools for Biointerfaces.”

Speaker: Albena Ivanisevic, Ph.D. 
Job Title: Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Date and Time: Friday, 03/02/2018, 11:00 A.M.
Location: JSNN Auditorium

2907 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, NC 27401


One of the challenges associated with making implantable devices with long term functionality can be solved if one can find an interface material that not only matched the mechanical and electrical properties requirements but can also be tailored to reduce or eliminate foreign body response.  There is a need for an interface that will simultaneously probe chemical and electrical mechanisms associated with neuronal function.  We have started to use gallium nitride (GaN) to fabricate such a biointerface.  Limited evidence suggests that GaN is an ideal material for this purpose.  Advantages of GaN include a wide bandgap of 3.4 eV, availability of Ga bonds for covalent surface modifications, chemical stability, and low electrical drift of GaN biosensors in ionic solutions.  Recently we conducted studies to examine the biocompatibility and toxicity of this material after chemical functionalization which can significantly increase its utility. Cell studies data confirms that the tailored surfaces are suitable as bio-interfaces to probe neuronal function and behavior.  A portion of the talk will highlight recent work centered on GaN surfaces with different polarities and the ability to enhance the semiconductor properties using in situ chemical functionalization during etching.  The final part of the talk will focus on GaOOH as an additive to a biological gel. This inorganic-organic interface provides a multi-functional platform for biological studies. Currently in the literature, cell behavior and cellular responses have been studied through many different material platforms. Specifically, researchers are interested in the effects of various stimuli, including mechanical properties, on cell fate. There is a need for a platform under which multiple stimuli and their effects can be studied. Data will be presented to demonstrate the creation a composite material with variable stiffness and scintillating properties to modulate cell behavior.


Albena Ivanisevic earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Drake University in 1996 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2000. She was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University from 2000-2002 and began her independent faculty career at the Purdue University in 2002 where she earned tenure.  Ivanisevic moved to North Carolina State University in the summer of 2011 where she is currently a professor in the Materials Science Department and a University Faculty Scholar.  Since 2013 Ivanisevic is an Associate Editor of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, the ACS journal focused on chemistry and engineering of applications-focused research in materials and interfaces.  Since 1999 she has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles on surface functionalization, patterning and characterization with a focus on biomedical and bioelectronics applications.