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Biological Ferroelectricity-Phenomena, Mechanism, and Implications
Update time: 2015/02/04
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Title: Biological Ferroelectricity-Phenomena, Mechanism, and Implications   

Speaker: Prof. Jiangyu Li (Associate Editor of Journal of Applied Physics)     

From: University of Washington             

Time: 10:30 a.m., February 5, 2015            

Place: Conference room 217 at North -1 Building          




Science and Technology Department  

Underwater Acoustic Transducer and Measurement Technology Laboratory


Ferroelectricity, a phenomenon where a spontaneous polarization in a solid can be switched by an external electric field, has recently been discovered in blood vessel walls by our group using nanoscale piezoresponse force microscopy [1]. The origin of the phenomena has been attributed to elastin, and glucose has been found to suppress ferroelectric switching substantially [2]. In this talk, we will review the basics of biological ferroelectricity, elucidate its molecular mechanism [3], and discuss its possible physiological significance and pathological implications. In particular, an early diagnostic technique based on the ferroelectric switching in aortic wall is proposed to detect arteriosclerosis.  

Professor Jiangyu Li obtained his bachelor degree from Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University and Ph.D. degree from Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado-Boulder. He joined University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an Assistant Professor in 2001, and moved to University of Washington in 2006, where he held Bryan T. McMinn Endowed Professorship from 2007 to 2010. He has published numerous papers in leading journals, including Science, Nature Materials, and Physical Review Letters, and he has been recognized by ASME Sia-Nasser Early Career Medal, ICCES Young Investigator Award, and ASME Best Paper Award.  

1.Liu, Y.M., Zhang, Y.H., Chow, M.J., Chen, Q.N., and Li, J.Y., 2012, “Biological Ferroelectricity uncovered in Aortic Walls by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy”, Physical Review Letters 108, 078103, 1-5.   

2.Liu, Y.M., Wang, Y.J., Chow, M.J., Chen, Q.N., Ma, F.Y., Zhang, Y.H., Li, J.Y., 2013, “Glucose suppresses biological ferroelectricity in aortic elastin”, Physical Review Letters 110, article no. 168101, 1-5.  

3. Liu, Y.M. and Li, J.Y. et al, 2014, “Ferroelectric switching of elastin”, PNAS111, E2780-E2786. 

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