Meeting/Event Information

    Prof. Rong Wang (IIT): "Collagen-based nanocomposite materials and their applications"

    April 23, 2015
    5:00 PM - 9:30 PM
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    The Parthenon
    314 S. Halsted St.
    Chicago, IL 60661

    It's amazing what IIT professor Rong Wang can do with one dimension! Engineering. Biophysics and Biomedicine. Nanotechnology. With one-dimensional nanomaterials like collagen, spider silk, carbon nanotubes, and titanium dioxide nanotubes, Prof. Wang works wonders for basic science and beneficial applications in biomedicine and materials. 

    Please join the Chicago Section of the ACS for a night exploring the science of Prof. Wang, who was just featured in our WCC biographical series. We'll have a great night of science, scientific networking, posters about science at IIT, and Tony Toussaint's ever-popular Job Club to help job seekers of all career stages... all at the fabulous Parthenon in Greektown.


    Collagen is a natural one-dimensional nanomaterial.  It confers robustness and resilience to connective tissues, and is one of the most abundant proteins in human body.  Collagen has been frequently used as a matrix in cell culture, biomedical implantation and tissue engineering. Among the various types, collagen type I is the main supportive protein within fascia, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bone, skin and other connective tissues due to its great tensile strength. It is quite amenable to manipulation under various conditions to achieve desired nanostructure and fiber mechanics.  

    In our studies, we aim to develop collagen-based composite materials as potential biological scaffolds for tissue engineering and cell therapeutics.  We modulated the nanostructure and biomechanics of collagen by integrating other one-dimensional materials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNT), TiO2 nanotubes and silk proteins, to create desired matrices for specific biomedical research.  For instance, we found CNT interacts with collagen at the molecular level.  It affects fiber assembly kinetics and greatly enhances fiber stiffness.  The resulting composite material yields an effective matrix that can promote the differentiation of stem cells to neuronal cells with a yield as high as 92%. The incorporation of silk protein to collagen not only increased the fiber mechanical strength, but also dramatically increased the matrix stability in cell culture medium. By aligning the composite fibers nanoscopically and microscopically, an effort mimicking the alignment of interstitial extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in vivo, a fine balance between biophysical and biochemical cues can be achieved to optimally support the neural differentiation of stem cells and, importantly, to develop extremely long neural filaments, implying the potential application in neural tissue repair and future nano-bio-devices. 


    Our Social Hour will feature a mini poster session highlighting exciting work being conducted at IIT, including the labs of Prof. David MinhProf. Richard Guan, and Prof. Rong Wang:

    • "Nanopore Stochastic Sensing: A Versatile Tool", by Prof. Richard Guan with lab members Liang Wang, Shuo Zhou, Xiaohan Chen, and Xiyun Guan.
    • "Towards Virtual Screening with Entropy", by Prof. David Minh with lab members John Clark, Trung Hai Nguyen, and Laurentiu Spiridon.
    • "Effect of Microenvironment on Cell Behavior and Tissue Function", by Prof. Rong Wang with lab members Bofan Zhu, Wen Li and Naiwei Chi.


    • 5:00 - 7:30  Registration
    • 5:00 - 6:30  Poster Session
    • 5:00 - 6:30  Social Hour with cash bar
    • 5:00 - 6:30  Job Club with Tony Toussaint
    • 6:30 - 7:30  Dinner - Family Style Greek Meal
    • 7:30 - 8:30  Main Talk: Prof. Rong Wang

    Menu: Greek Family Style Dinner

    ParthenonAppetizers: Saganaki (Kaseri cheese flamed in brandy), Gyros (roasted slices of lamb and beef), Taramosalata (fish roe blended with lemon and olive oil); traditional Greek salad.

    Main course: Vegetarian Spinach-Cheese Pie, Vegetarian Pastitsio (Macaroni baked with broccoli, Bechamel sauce and Kefalotiri), Dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice, meats and herbs), Rotisserie-roasted lamb served with rice pilaf and roasted potatoes.

    Desserts: Baklava (flaky layers of Phyllo baked with nuts and honey) and Galaktobouriko (flaky layers of Phyllo with vanilla custard and baked with syrup. Beverages, bread and butter.


    Complementary valet parking is available. Use to check out prices and pre-purchase parking at nearby lots, including the nearby garage at 765 W. Adams St. Click here to identify parking options and reserve a spot.


    Dr. Rong Wang is an associate professor of chemistry in the Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Illinois Institute of Technology, the associate chair of Chemistry, and the director of the International Center for Sensor Science and Engineering (ICSSE) at IIT.  She received the Ph.D degree from University of Tokyo, Japan, and was awarded the prestigious scholarship from Japan Society for Promotion of Science. She was also awarded the Director Funded Postdoctoral Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Wang’s research focuses on the development and application of novel materials, tools and methods to understand the impact of microenvironment on cell behavior and tissue function. In specific, the research in her group harnesses the advancements in molecular characterization methods such as probe scanning microscopy, surface engineering with new conjugate chemistry and bio-compatible materials, as well as molecular manipulation via photochemistry and nano-processing, to perform spatiotemporal analysis of proteins and genes for examining single cell events.  Dr. Wang has received funding from NIH, NSF, DOE, NASA and private foundations. She served the grant Program Review Panels for NIH, DOE, ACS Petroleum Research Fund, Alzheimer Disease Foundation, among others. She also chaired sections in national, international meetings and workshops besides being a frequent speaker and serving the scientific advisory board.  Dr. Wang was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Langmuir.  She currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board for Advances in Materials Science and Engineering.


    The Parthenon is located approximately two blocks from the UIC-Halsted stop on the Blue Line. The #8 Bus runs North/South along Halsted, and the #126 Bus runs Easet/West along Jackson and VanBuren, respectively. Here are good routes and estimated travel times to get to the meeting from nearby major research universities:

    (~ 55 min from Tech. Inst.)
    University of Chicago 
    (~ 48 min from 59th & Ellis)
    University of Illinois at Chicago 
    (~12 min walk from Chem Dept, 845 Taylor)
    Loyola University 
    (~ 57 min from Loyola Red Line CTA)
    Illinois Institute of Technology 
    (~ 34 min from Chem Dept.)



    From Kennedy (I-90) or Edens (I-94):   Head downtown and exit at Adams Street.  Go west on Adams to Halsted.  Turn left at Halsted.  The restaurant is approximately 1-1/2 blocks on the west side of the street.

    From Dan Ryan (I-90/94):   Head downtown and exit at Roosevelt/Taylor and turn left to Halsted.  Turn right at Halsted.  The restaurant is approximately 8-1/2 blocks on the west side of the street.

    From Eisenhower (I-290):   Head east to Chicago.   Exit at Racine and turn left.   Go to Jackson Boulevard and turn right.   Take Jackson to Halsted.   Turn right at Halsted.   The restaurant is approximately 1/2 block on the west side of the street.

    From Outer Drive North:   Exit at Randolph St.  Turn right (west) on Randolph to Halsted.  Turn left at Halsted.  The restaurant is approximately 5-1/2 blocks on the west side of the street.

    From Outer Drive South:   Exit at Jackson St. and turn left to Michigan Ave.  Turn right on Michigan and go to Adams. Turn left at Adams to Halsted.  The restaurant is approximately 1/2 block on the west side of the street.


    $35.00 Member ticket

    $37.00 Non-member

    $20.00 Student/Unemployed/Retired

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - natural canvas

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - blue

    $0.00 Lecture only