MSE Seminar - Dr. Natalie Stingelin - MSE - Georgia Tech

MSE Seminar
Event Date:
Monday, January 30, 2017 - 4:00pm
GTMI/Callaway Bldg. Auditorium

Dr. Natalie Stingelin


Materials Science and Engineering

Georgia Tech

Monday, January 30, 2017

4:00 p.m. GTMI/Callaway Bldg. Auditorium

Reception at 3:30 p.m. in the GTMI Atrium

How to Enable Ions to Flow in Bioelectronic Blend Systems


In recent years, the bioelectronics field has seen the use of an increasing variety of conducting polymers because they promise to display tunable mechanical properties (flexibility) and the ability to form an intimate interface with living tissue – in strong contrast to their inorganic counterparts. Even though transduction of ionic bio-signals into electronic signals is thought to be the key mechanism for successful integration of electronic devices in biological systems, little insight has so far been gained that allows understanding the interplay of electronic and ionic conductivity in the currently employed materials. Here we present a materials science approach to this challenge that promises to control mixed ionic/electronic transport in ‘plastics’ by blending organic semiconductors with insulating polymers – and that assists to elucidate the two processes. Since blending allows to manipulate the nature of the resulting systems with respect to its polarity and water swellability, it introduces the capability of controlling the interdiffusion of biological media through the final structures. We will also demonstrate that electronic transport can be maintained in such multicomponent systems upon blending with the insulating matrix. In addition, ion transport can be modulated via blend composition, control of solidification mechanism and selection of insulating component, which illustrates that the use of conducting/insulating polymer blends has the potential to gain more insight in such complex systems and assists in bringing multifunctionality to the final architecture, including biological activity, biodegradation, topological cues, and beyond.


Natalie Stingelin (Stuzmann), FRSC, is a Full Professor of Materials Science and Engineering,  with prior positions at Imperial College London; the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge;  the Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven; and ETH Zürich. She was an External Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies and is Associate Editor of the RSC journal ‘Journal of Materials Chemistry C’. She was awarded the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining's Rosenhain Medal and Prize (2014) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) President's International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) Award for Visiting Scientists (2015); she was the Chair of the 2016 Gordon Conference on 'Electronic Processes in Organic Materials' as well as the Zing conference on ‘Organic Semiconductors’. She has published >150 papers and 6 issued patents. Her research interests encompass organic electronics & photonics, bioelectronics, physical chemistry of organic functional materials, and smart inorganic/organic hybrid systems.