Ahmad Allahbakhsh received his Ph.D. in Polymer Engineering from Tabrbiat Modares University in July 2017. He is currently a CIVIS3i-MSCA Fellow at the Université libre de Bruxelles' BioMatter research unit, where he is working on the development of graphene quantum dots-based engineered living biomaterials.
Host University: Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Host research group or department: BioMatter, Faculty of Engineering - The BioMatter Lab
Co-host University: Aix Marseille University, France
Secondment institution: University of Glasgow
Advisor: Dr. Amin Shavandi
Co-advisor: Dr. Carmen Maria Ruiz Herrero
Secondment mentor: Prof. Nikolaj Gadegaard
Deciphering the mechanism of interaction between cellulose producing bacteria and graphene quantum dots to develop Engineered living biomaterials
Physiochemical properties of hydrogels that define the application of these important porous biomaterials can be designed through the hydrogel fabrication process. In this project, a new green strategy for the fabrication of hyper-porous hydrogels with designable physiochemical properties will be presented. In this new strategy, graphene quantum dots (GQDs), as building blocks in the structure of the hydrogel, will be converted into GQDs colloidal aggregates, and the self-assembled GQDs colloidal aggregates will then be crosslinked via a network of bacterial cellulose nanofibers produced by bacteria. The product of this process will be a new class of hydrogel engineered living material with viscoelastic properties similar to the bacterial cellulose hydrogels, as well as the hierarchical porous structure and tunable surface physicochemical properties similar to the self-assembled GQDs hydrogels. Three main work packages will be followed in this project. In the first work package, the emphasis will be on interaction studies on the mechanisms of interfacial interactions involved in the attachment of bacteria to the surface of GQDs aggregates, as well as interaction mechanisms of physical interactions between bacterial cellulose macromolecules and GQDs aggregates. In the second work package, GQDs hydrogels will be fabricated by crosslinking GQDs aggregates via bacterial cellulose nanofibers prepared by the bacteria. Moreover, the biodegradability of fabricated GQDs hydrogels with human enzymes will be evaluated in the third work package. This project will provide important knowledge on the mechanism of interfacial interactions between living components and graphene-based nanostructures and will lead to the introduction of a new green strategy for fabricating porous hydrogels with tunable physicochemical characteristics.
Date started – Date End
01.09.2022 - 31.08.2024