Goodenough Materials Innovation Lecture Series: C. Jeffrey Brinker

Friday, November 13, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


C. Jeffrey Brinker
University of New Mexico

C. Jeffrey Brinker

Synthetic Cellular Constructs based on Silica Cell Replication
Mimicking the form and function of natural systems remains a holy grail of materials science. To address the challenges of biomimetic materials synthesis, our group pioneered a spectrum of self- and directed-assembly methods that serve as a tool kit to fabricate synthetic structures with architectures rivaling the complexity of natural materials. This lecture will discuss the process silica cell replication wherein all cellular features are transformed into exact silica replicas in a self-limiting process. The bio-composite replicas preserve indefinitely selective surface antigen binding and multiple protein functions in their native 3D contexts. Silicified red blood cell (RBC) replicas serve as a starting point for rebuilding completely synthetic RBCs via layer-by-layer polymer deposition, silica etching and fusion of native RBC membranes. Rebuilt RBCs can be loaded with multiple cargos and circulate much like native RBCs, providing an unusual example of a long circulating synthetic macroparticle. Silicified cancer patient cell replicas preserve cancer neo-antigens and serve as the basis for a personalized cancer vaccine. Functionalization of the cell replica surface with pathogen-associated molecular patterns results in rapid internalization by dendritic cells, antigen presentation, and T-cell activation. Vaccination in an ovarian cancer model prevents tumor engraftment and results in complete eradication of established tumors, enabling long-term survival.  


About Dr. Brinker
C. Jeffrey Brinker was born in Easton, Pennsylvania and attended Rutgers University where he received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in ceramic science and engineering. Jeff joined Sandia National Laboratories as a Member of the Technical Staff in 1979. He was promoted to Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at SNL and appointed Distinguished National Laboratory Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of New Mexico in 1991. Since 1999, he has served as one of several Sandia Laboratory Fellows and as Distinguished and Regent’s Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering with co-appointments in the Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the UNM Cancer Center. Brinker has been recognized nationally and internationally for his work in sol-gel processing (the fabrication of nanoscale materials from soluble molecular precursors) and its extension to self-assembly of porous and composite nanostructures via evaporation-induced self-assembly, and recently novel types of biotic/abiotic materials and interfaces, including porous nanoparticle supported lipid bilayers used as nanocarriers. His awards include five R&D100 Awards, the American Chemical Society’s Ralph K. Iler Award in the Chemistry of Colloidal Materials, five Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Awards, the DOE Ernest O. Lawrence Memorial Award in Materials Science, and the Materials Research Society MRS Medal. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Fellow of MRS, the American Ceramic Society, and the International Sol-Gel Society.