Coffee Break: Sustainable Nanomaterials for Sensing Human Health and the Environment
Professor Omowunmi (Wunmi) Sadik
BioSMART Center & New Jersey Institute of Technology
Tuesday, October 31
The presentation will describe the use of sustainable nanomaterials for understanding reaction mechanisms, small-scale synthesis, and biosensing. Sustainable nanotechnology is the research and development of nanomaterials with economic and societal benefits and little or no negative environmental impact. Hence there is a search for nano-synthetic methods that utilize sustainable materials without employing other reductants, capping, or dispersing agents. Notable developments include safer-by-design, electrosynthesis, sonochemistry, and the use of biomass, sugars, and flavonoid precursors. This presentation will discuss a new frontier for safe nanomaterials with tunable surface and electrocatalytic properties, high sorption capacities, and excellent reactivities. The sensing applications of these tunable materials will be presented for pain biomarkers and persistent pollutants.
About Wunmi Sadik
Wunmi Sadik is the distinguished Professor and Director of The BioSMART Center at the New Jersey Institutes of Technology (NJIT). Professor Sadik has held appointments at Harvard University, Cornell University, the EPA, and the Naval Research Laboratory. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed works with 400 invited lectures and conference contributions. Her group focuses on understanding interfaces, particularly the electrochemical interface, and how to use this knowledge to pursue innovative bio (analytical) sensor technologies to improve human health and the environment. She has developed a biosensor technology to enable clinicians to assess the pain experienced by a patient objectively. Her pain biosensor uses the idea that the underlying cause of pain is a fundamental biochemical process. Coupled with a Bayes net model, preliminary data on 379 patients confirmed that the majority (80%) showed consistency among the biomarker data and the patient’s self-reported pain. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, The American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, The African Academy of Sciences, and Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer. She is a recipient of the Radcliffe Fellowship, NIH Outstanding Scientific Achievement & WALS Lectureship, SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities, and NSF’s Discovery Corps Senior Fellowship. She holds 12 US patents and patent applications and is the founder of three startup companies. As the Co-Founder and President of the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (www.susnano.org), Professor Sadik is building support for science and promoting the understanding of its broader relevance to society.