Protein-based Bioplastics for Sustainable Additive Manufacturing - Prof. Alsahakim Nelson, University of Washington



Prof. Alshakim Nelson

Department of Chemistry

University of Washington, Seattle

Wedneday, April 20, Webinar at 6:30 PM Pacific time


Bio-sourced and biodegradable polymers for additive manufacturing could enable the rapid fabrication of parts for a broad spectrum of applications ranging from healthcare to aerospace. However, a limited number of these materials are suitable for vat photopolymerization processes. Herein, we report a process to fabricate protein-based constructs using commercially available SLA and DLP printers. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was formulated into aqueous resins that were used to print complex 3D geometrical constructs with a resolution comparable to commercial resins. While BSA is often used in cell culture protocols and diagnostic assays, we demonstrate that BSA has unique network-forming characteristics that afford 3D printed objects with unique physical properties. Stiff hydrogels and bioplastic materials with a range of complex geometries were fabricated from these BSA resins. Protein-based shape-memory objects and engineered living materials were 3D printed and will be highlighted as potential opportunities for future applications.

Speaker Background:

Alshakim Nelson is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and the Director of Education at the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute at the University of Washington. He received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004, where he worked with Sir J. Fraser Stoddart on carbohydrate-containing polymers and macrocycles. He was then an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology working for Professor Robert Grubbs on olefin metathesis catalysts for the formation of supramolecular ensembles. Dr. Nelson was a Research Staff Member at IBM Almaden Research Center for 10 years where he focused on the synthesis of nanomaterial building blocks that enabled large area nanomanufacturing via self-assembly. In 2015, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty at the UW, where his research group focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and processing of stimuli-responsive materials for 3D printing. Dr. Nelson has over 70 publications and 25 issued patents. His honors and awards include recognition as an IBM Master Inventor, ACS PMSE Young Investigator, Kavli Foundation Fellow, NSF CAREER award, and 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award.

EVENT DATE: Wednesday, April 20

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Webinar Timing: 6:30 PM.

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