WIN Thematic Seminar: Smart Polymers and Bio-nanomaterials for Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) has four main thematic research areas; Smart and Function Materials, Connected Devices, Next Generation Energy Systems and Therapeutics and Theranostics. To showcase the work going on within these areas, we will be holding monthly WIN Thematic Seminars featuring our members and their research group members.

For this event in the series, Professor Boxin Zhao and PhD candidate Lukas Bauman from the Smart and Functional Materials theme will be giving a seminar on "Smart Polymers and Bio-nanomaterials for Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing".

Registration is required. If you have any questions or issues registering, please contact 

Smart Polymers and Bio-nanomaterials for Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing

Functional polymers and finely tuned surface and interfacial properties (e.g. adhesion, friction, and wetting) are essential to the development of advanced materials and innovative technologies to address the global challenges with sustainability and human wellbeing.   In this talk, Prof Zhao will present an overview of his research activities on surface science and bionanomaterials and the development of polymer nanotechnologies including bio-inspired adhesives, state-shifting polymer gels, and smart window materials.  His PhD student Lukas Bauman will discuss his thesis research on the development of functional hydrogels for healthcare applications, where thermo-responsive polymer hydrogels are devised for large format 3D printing with high fidelity.  The being-developed material shows a significant promise as a medical hydrogel mask for burn injuries as it can be printed in sizes large enough to fit a human face with high dimensional accuracy; it also has the ability to load with drugs such as painkillers. 

Speaker Biography

Boxin Zhao

Boxin Zhao is a professor in chemical engineering and the University of Waterloo Endowed Chair in Nanotechnology. He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the McMaster University in 2004, worked as a postdoc at UCSB in 2005-2008. He established the Surface Science and Bionanomaterials Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in 2008 and has been the head of the laboratory since then. The laboratory has been well known for its interdisciplinary research capacity to take on both fundamental and applied research projects, and has collaborated widely with industrial partners to address industrial challenges and societal needs. His research interests include smart polymers, sustainable polymers, microplastic degradation, antimicrobial coatings and composites, hydrogels, bionanomaterials, soft materials and interface, biomimetic adhesion, electrically conductive polymers and adhesives, soft robotic devices, advanced manufacturing, etc. He has 100+ peer-refereed papers on the top journals including Macromolecules, Advanced Materials, Nature Materials, and ACS Nano, and has delivered many presentations in national and international conferences.

Lukas Bauman

Lukas Bauman is a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo (Canada). He received his B.A.Sc. in chemical engineering from the University of Western Ontario in 2017, where he focused on the development of self-immolative polymer blends for fertilizer coatings. His research interests focus on the use of thermo-responsive polymers as a surface graft agent on microtextured surfaces as well as their applications in 3D printing thermo-responsive hydrogels for biomedical applications.