Professor Of Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Melik Demirel is a tenured Professor of Engineering, Materials Research Institute and Huck Institutes of Life Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. Over the last decade, Professor Demirel and his research team have focused on developing functional nanoscale biomimetic materials. His team designed, fabricated and synthesized advanced materials by studying the functional transitions of biomimetic systems, both computationally and experimentally. Prof. Demirel's achievements have been recognized, in part, through his receipt of a Young Investigator Award from the Department of Defense, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, as a Wyss Institute Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, an Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter Junior Fellowship, The Nicholas and Gelsa Pelick Biotechnology Innovation Award and the Pearce Development Professorship, and a Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Outstanding Research Award. Prof. Demirel received his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, and BS/MS degrees from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Natural materials have been a fundamental part of human life since the dawn of civilization. However, due to exploitation of natural resources and cost issues, synthetic materials replaced bio-derived materials in the last century. Recent advances in bio- and nano-technologies pave the way for developing eco-friendly materials that could be produced easily from renewable resources at reduced cost and in a broad array of useful applications. Here we report a general self-healing and -assembly strategy based on a multiphase protein based material. Segmented structure of the protein shows soft segments with self-healing capability and hard segments that self-assemble into nanoconfined domains to reinforce the material. As an ideal candidate of bio-derived material, our biopolymer will find use in multiple fields including in Nonwoven Fabrics Industry.