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March 23, 2005


Dr. Dimos Poulikakos
Director, Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies Institute of Energy Technology
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
"Transport phenomena in emerging technologies involving multiscale and multiphase physics: examples from nanoscience and biomedicine"

Abstract.  Looking back only a couple of decades, one cannot but be impressed by the accomplished technological progress. Key examples of prime drivers for this progress are electronics and the related computational engineering. Prompted by such changes, the state of the art and the future of important familiar areas of engineering research are justifiably topics of vivid discussion, as we enter the 21st century. The present lecture addresses this theme as it pertains to the area of transport phenomena. It will be shown that thermofluidic engineering is impressively evolving and plays already an important role in many emerging areas such as nanotechnology and life sciences. Specific examples taken from electronics nanomanufacturing and biomedical  engineering will underpin this thesis. With reference to the former, microprinting and laser-annealing concepts as well as a nanoscale fountain-pen-inspired method for the laser writing of flexible, multilayered electronics on polymeric substrates will be presented. The working liquid is a nanoink, (a solvent containing nanoparticles of the material of interest). The potential of utilization of nanoparticles, including carbon nanotubes, with thermophysical properties significantly different than those of their bulk counterparts, in future-oriented technologies involving multiscale and multiphase physics will be underlined. At the same time, significant progress is being made in our efforts to understand and replicate several functions of living organisms including those as complex as organs of the human body. To this end, it will be shown that combining the power of bio-imaging, MRI measurements and biofluidics, the motion and function of the cerebrospinal fluid is in the human body is increasingly understood, and first steps are being made toward the prediction of the behavior of aneurisms in blood vessels.

Vanderbilt University