Jose Moran-MirabalMicro- and Nanostructured Materials
Faculty of Science
Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
MCMASTER EXPERTS PROFILE
Using surface chemistry, micro- and nanofabrication to create functional materials that can be used in a wide variety of applications.
Today’s scientists are using increasingly clever techniques to make a host of fascinating new materials, from ultra-small particles to smart thin films with applications from wearable electronics to disease diagnosis.
José Moran-Mirabal, an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology and an emerging leader in this field, is pioneering methods to produce functional structures from materials as varied as metallic films and cellulose.
Moran-Mirabal’s research is transforming the way sensors are fabricated. He has pioneered a simple, inexpensive, yet powerful technique for patterning and structuring thin films, used as components in everything from electronics to biosensors. By integrating biomembranes on micro/nanostructured films and studying them through electrochemistry and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy, he is expanding our knowledge of membrane-surface interactions and opening paths for the development of novel assays for the diagnosis of important diseases.
Moran-Mirabal has also pioneered a modular method to chemically modify cellulose – the most abundant organic polymer on earth – and produce novel structured materials. The ability to tune the interfacial and functional properties of cellulose has been identified as a critical step in unlocking the full potential of nanostructured cellulose. Using chemically-modified cellulose, he is developing novel paper-based sensors for environmental pollutants, new porous materials capable of capturing molecules, and new solutions for 3D bioprinting of cellular microenvironments.
By designing new functional micro- and nanostructured materials to build improved microenvironments for tissue engineering and develop novel diagnostic assays for the detection of pathogens and diseases, Moran-Mirabal’s work will have major impacts on environmental monitoring, clinical practice, and biological research.