UCSB PHYSICIST TO DISCUSS ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY AND THE WONDERS OF BIOLOGICAL STRUCTURES

Wednesday, May 8, 2002 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Atomic force microscopy has helped uncover the reasons for the uncommon strength of some materials produced naturally by plants and animals.

UC Santa Barbara physicist Paul Hansma will discuss some of those discoveries in "Small Wonders of Evolutionary Engineering: From Abalone Shells to Bone," a UCSB Affiliates Science Lite lecture on

Monday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara. Tickets are $5 for Affiliates and Chancellor's Council members and $8 for the general public. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling the UCSB Office of Community Relations at 893-4388. Using an atomic force microscope (AMF), Hansma and his research team have uncovered a kind of molecular glue that holds together the layers of an abalone shell.

Understanding the makeup of that adhesive could lead to medical therapies that could strengthen bones, teeth, tendons, skin, and the walls of blood vessels. Hansma earned a Ph.D. in physics at UC Berkeley and has been a member of the faculty at UCSB since 1972.

His research began with inelastic electron tunneling and Scanning Tunneling Microscopes and has evolved to the development of AMFs.

He is particularly interested in developing AMF applications for biology and medicine.