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Army renews bio-inspired engineering and science research center at UC Santa Barbara with $48 million
Date:12/6/2013

m understanding complex biological systems on a cellular level, to engineering synthetic materials inspired by natural models.

"The unclassified research made possible by the ICB is 20 years ahead of its time and enables technological advances that will benefit society in many different ways," said David Gay, ICB Director of Technology. "Over the past decade, funding from the Army has resulted in bio-inspired research results that have opened doors for applications in materials, biotechnology, sensors, network science, and cognitive neuroscience."

For example, ICB researchers are working to understand how enzymes produced by plant fungi work on a molecular level. This basic research will enable them to engineer synthetic enzymes that can break down plant biomass for efficient biofuel production. An ICB study of the microscopic structure and properties of the gecko's feet has led to reversible adhesion technology that can support weight while also offering an easy mechanism for release. In biomedical applications, researchers have developed a molecular sensor that can detect drug concentrations in vivo which could lead to real-time measurement of the dosage and effectiveness of therapeutic drugs. By closely examining the design of mussel cuticles, ICB researchers are developing synthetic polymer materials with remarkable properties of both elasticity and toughness.

"The Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies is the kind of collaborative research environment at UC Santa Barbara that allows faculty to amplify the impact of their research across broad frontiers of science, engineering, and technology," commented Rod Alferness, dean of UCSB's College of Engineering. "We look forward to continuing our productive partnership with the Army Research Laboratory and our academic and industry partners."

"UC Santa Barbara continues to be on the forefront of research that is changing the world and I am pleased the Army has chosen to conti
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Contact: Sonia Fernandez
sonia.fernandez@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-4765
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

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Army renews bio-inspired engineering and science research center at UC Santa Barbara with $48 million
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