Our paper on DIB capacitance made the cover of Langmuir!

In the phase-separated bilayer, the solvent is sequestered in the center of the disordered domains. Our measurements revealed that the oil does not significantly alter the bilayer’s transition temperature and in fact plays a role in conferring the ability to detect otherwise low-enthalpy phase transitions with capacitance. For more information, see “Capacitive Detection of Low-Enthalpy, Higher-Order Phase Transitions in Synthetic and Natural Composition Lipid Membranes” by Graham J. Taylor, Frederick A. Heberle, Jason S. Seinfeld, John Katsaras, C. Patrick Collier, and Stephen A. Sarles (DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02022).

Sarles group teaches high school students about neuromorphic engineering during HITES 2018

Last week, the Sarles Group was honored to host two high school students from the state of TN as part of the 2018 HITES12 program. During their 4-day research project, students were introduced to the idea of brain-inspired (neuromorphic) computing hardware and the key roles that membranes and voltage-responsive biomolecules play in synapses and neurons. These students worked with graduate student researchers, Subhadeep and Colin (pictured), and postdoc, Dr. Josph Najem, to assemble synaptic mimics consisting of biomimetic membranes which display short-term learning and memory and also with Ryan Weiss to connect our biomolecular memory elements to electronic circuits that emulate neurons. Thanks to all for a great week!

Megan recognized at 2018 UTK EURēCA Poster Competition

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Megan Pitz’s research poster entitled, “Analyzing memcapacitive capabilities of lipid and polymer bilayers for use in smart materials” was awarded First Place in Research within the Tickle College of Engineering at the 2018 UTK EURēCA poster competition.  She was also recognized as a Gold Award winner from entries across all colleges at the university!  Great job Megan!

See more good press about her poster here:

2018 Event

Research Week Concludes with EURēCA Awards Night




Joseph, et al publishes paper in ACS Nano!

We are excited to announce that Joseph’s paper entitled, “Memristive Ion Channel-Doped Biomembranes as Synaptic Mimics” was recently accepted by ACS Nano! This study is the first to demonstrate that biomembranes doped with alamethicin peptides exhibit voltage-dependent conductance with both short-term learning and memory capabilities–key features of synaptic plasticity in the brain! These findings forecast new opportunities for low-power neuromorphic materials built from biomolecules. Congrats Joseph and all co-authors!

*This work was funded by the NSF, Grant No: 1631472.

Guru Venkatesan awarded 2017 MABE Student Leadership Award

On April 6th, Guru Venkatesan was awarded the 2017 MABE Student leadership award at the Annual Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) Banquet at the Foundry in Knoxville.  This award recognizes students who have demonstrated significant leadership during their time at UTK.  Among his many contributions, Guru is the founder and inaugural president of Tech CarniVol, a student organization that hosts an annual 1-day tech festival by the same name.  Separately, Guru served as President of the Manthan – Indian Student Association at UTK, he is a member of the UTK chapter of Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and he participated in multiple BMEIdea Competitions, including the 2016 team that was chosen as the national award winner for their idea FastCast.  Congrats on your award and for your contributions to this university!