Our lab conducts both fundamental and applied research in a broad range of interfacial science. We aim to understand fundamental issues in the surface and interface science of bio- and nano-materials and to transfer such knowledge into practical applications.
I. Fundamental Aspects
Biophysics and Biointerfaces
Despite impressive progress on understanding the biophysics of cellular mechanisms, the treatments of human diseases associated with lipid membranes and proteins have been challenged by the stunning complexity of the molecular architecture and the lack of understanding on intermolecular interactions at nanoscale. Our lab utilize Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA) technique, fluorescence microscopy coupled Langmuir trough, and other variety of advanced experimental techniques in order to better characterize such membrane-involved molecular process, to measure the interaction forces and rheological properties, and to study thermodynamic phase transition behaviors related to the disease process. By finding out a crucial link between subtle changes in the molecular-level organization/structure of membranes and overall structural changes, we expect to provide a molecular-level of understanding on the disease process which, in turn, allows the development of novel approaches to prevention, diagnosis and cure. The diseases of particular interest are multiple sclerosis (MS), skin/mucus associated infection, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
As the size scale of materials gets smaller and smaller, understanding intermolecular interactions between these materials and between materials and other surfaces becomes increasingly needed not only for fundamental point of views but also for many technological processes. This scope of research includes the investigations on polymer-polymer adhesion and coalescence (coating, dyeing, and composite materials), the stability behavior of vesicle dispersions containing polymer additives (cosmetics, cleaning products, and paints), and oil-based lubricant systems containing additives (surfactant-coated nanoparticles).