11-03-2017 | Matthew Souva: High Throughput Block Copolymer Nanoparticle Assembly Methods

Title: High Throughput Block Copolymer Nanoparticle Assembly Methods

Speaker: Matthew Souva

Date: Friday, November 3, 2017

Time: 10:00am – 11:00am

Location: NIA, Room 137

Abstract: Nanotechnology achievements have presented novel solutions to problems in energy harvesting, lithographic strategies, and biomedical treatments with development of functional nanoparticles. However, many nanotech demonstrations originate from organic syntheses, limiting translation of hydrophobic materials to aqueous media. Nanoparticle encapsulation within self-assembling amphiphilic block copolymers represents an attractive gateway to water delivery. Unfortunately, most modes of polymer self-assembly are considered at the batch level, with limited translation to scalable technologies and, therefore, a limited horizon for broad application or commercialization.

Flow-based adaptations of prior batch efforts represent a significant step toward the development of a truly continuous mode of nanotechnology production. Here, I will demonstrate two distinct, scalable routes for block copolymer nanoparticle generation, each transferring amphiphilic polymer from organic solution into water, thus inducing self-assembly. The first technique is a coaxial electrospray process, used to form emulsion droplets for a polymer particle assembly approach with a water-immiscible organic solvent. The second is a flash nanoprecipitation option, in which water-miscible solvent is rapidly mixed with water to induce sudden particle assembly. I will present the ability to control and improve polymer throughput and, therefore, nanoparticle production rates by manipulating operational parameters specific to each system.

Nanoparticle research applications are limited without sufficient process development to generate adequate amounts of material. Scalable nanomanufacturing efforts are in vein if unable to deliver functional particles in a repeatable, robust manner. Coaxial electrospray and flash nanoprecipitation both represent promising directions for future implementation because they achieve both goals: success on the nanoscale, with enough production for utility at the macroscale.

Biography: Matthew Souva is a chemical engineering PhD graduate from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where he completed his dissertation on high throughput methods for block copolymer nanoparticle self-assembly. He is originally from Upstate New York and completed his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. His graduate research interests are in applied nanotechnology, polymer engineering, scalable manufacturing, and quantitative electron microscopy.