Visiting Scholar:
Jong Hyun Choi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Mechanical Engineering
Purdue University

Tues., April 17, 2018
3:30 – 4:30 pm
Milner Exec. Boardroom (0560 MEK)

DNA is one of the most essential elements in life as it carries generic information. The ability to process the information may also be exploited to translate DNA into an engineering material. This talk will show how molecular information may be harnessed and programmed into nanoscale structures and mechanical machinery.

In the first part, I will discuss a synthetic molecular motor from DNA that transports nanoparticle cargos along single-wall carbon nanotubes. This DNA walker moves autonomously and unidirectionally by converting chemical energy into mechanical motion through a series of conformation changes. This nanomechanical system is reminiscent of motor protein kinesin that transports intracellular cargos along microtubules in eukaryotic cells. We introduce visible/near-infrared super-resolution microscopy which reveals the mechanics and stochastic nature of motor operation. Our mechanistic study provides design principles for efficient DNA walkers.

This talk will also include novel strategies for programming reconfigurable DNA structures. We use intercalation to modulate DNA helical pitch, which controls the internal stress and conformation of assembled nanostructures. Our mechanical and kinetic studies together elucidate structural rigidity and elastic energy necessary for programmable reconfiguration. The talk will be concluded with several exemplary applications.

Jong Hyun Choi is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Yonsei University, and earned his doctoral degree, also in Mechanical Engineering, in 2005 from the University of California at Berkeley. He completed postdoctoral research with Prof. Michael Strano in Chemical Engineering at MIT before joining Purdue. He is an NSF Career award winner and an ASME fellow. His research focuses on understanding thermodynamics, kinetics, and mechanics of DNA-based materials and devices for various engineering applications.