Architecture on the Nanoscale


Dr. Hendrik Heinz, assistant professor of polymer engineering at The University of Akron, and his research team reveal how proteins attach to nanostructures, providing important catalyst findings, which can be used to develop highly specialized sensors and biomedical materials.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the research centers on the study of the molecular mechanisms of biomineralization. The research team is studying how nature assembles complex and adaptive structures from peptides such as shells of mollusks, bone, teeth and selectively binding proteins.

The students working with Heinz are Hua Liu, Yao-Tsung Fu, Kshitij C Jha, Tzu-Jen Lin, Ratan K Mishra and Fateme Sadat Emami.

Columbus Dispatch science writer Spencer Hunt reports on this fascinating research in the Jan. 30 edition of The Dispatch. To read, visit  Mimicking mollusks: With help of supercomputer, researcher hopes to unravel how nature forms shells, teeth and bone.

You can read more about Heinz and his student research team’s study of biomineralization processes in a UA story written in July 2010, Researcher wins National Science Foundation award.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or