ai seminar – carlo montemagno

"getting to mind: the foundation development of a biological neuronal ionic computer"

Presenter: Carlo Montemagno, Director, Ingenuity Lab; Professor, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta; Strategic Chair of Bionanotechnology, Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures; Program Lead, Biomaterials Program, National Institute for Nanotechnology; Canada Research Chair in Intelligent Nanosystems

Abstract: "Living systems are more than a product of matter manipulation at the molecular scale; the richness of functionality associated with living systems is a direct product of the information generated from both the interactions between molecules and the overall supra-molecular structure of the system. In essence living systems are “living” because of the fusion of nanotechnology and informatics. Living systems result from the precision assembly of matter with prescribed modalities for the transport and transduction of information among supra-molecular clusters.

The ability to manipulate matter a single molecule at a time renders many things possible that were impossible before. Living systems do this on a regular basis. The core challenge is how to transform a labile molecule that exists in a fragile living organism and to transfer that functionality into a stable system that is economically scalable. The most significant difficulties revolve around environmental stability and the inherent structural limitations of the molecule.

Presented is a new technology that stabilizes biological molecules maintaining their function for months at application relevant environmental conditions transitioning additive manufacturing from 3D space to a four-dimensional, functional space. This has enabling the synthesis of a new class of printable “inks”. These “ink” have stabilized and active biological molecules as integrated elements of synthesized polymer constructs to create a new class of materials and devices that now includes biologic function, both action and reporting as intrinsic properties.

We will present efforts to build Excitable vesicles, nanometer scale structures that produce and transmit ionic currents. Their design, modeling and experimental results associated with the fabrication and engineering of Excitable Vesicles, a nano-sized building block with the ability to intrinsically process information will be discussed. Excitable vesicles are designed and engineered to create a complex system that self-organizes on multiple length scales to manifest emergent behaviors. Hopefully providing an experimental tool for studying emergent function."

Bio: Driven by the principles of excellence, honor and responsibility and an unwavering commitment to education as an engine of economic prosperity, Carlo Montemagno, PhD has become a world-renowned expert in nanotechnology and is responsible for creating groundbreaking innovations which solve complex challenges in the areas of informatics, agriculture, chemical refining, transportation, energy, and healthcare.

He was Founding Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at University of Cincinnati; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and Bio Engineering from Cornell University; a Master’s Degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Penn State and a PhD in Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences from Notre Dame. He is now in Alberta as the Director of Ingenuity Lab, professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta, AITF Strategic Chair of Bionanotechnology, Program Lead of the Biomaterials Program at the National Institute for Nanotechnology and Canada Research Chair in Intelligent Nanosystems.

“Research and education are critical to success because the transfer of knowledge creates economic prosperity.” — C. Montemagno

Carlo Montemagno has been recognized with prestigious awards including the Feynman Prize (for creating single molecule biological motors with nano-scale silicon devices); the Earth Award Grand Prize (for cell-free artificial photosynthesis with over 95% efficiency); the CNBC Business Top 10 Green Innovator award (for Aquaporin Membrane water purification and desalination technology); and named a Bill & Melinda Gates Grand Challenge Winner (for a pH sensing active microcapsule oral vaccine delivery system which increased vaccine stability and demonstrated rapid uptake in the lower GI tract.)


ai seminar series

Fridays at noon, Amii and the Department of Computing Science host AI Seminars, engaging presentations on topics in the broad field of artificial intelligence. With speakers from the University of Alberta and other world-leading groups, the talks give AI enthusiasts a friendly way of engaging with the latest trends and topics in research and development.

Seminars are open to the public, and no registration is required, though seating is limited and on a first-come-first-served basis. Topics range from foundational theoretical work to innovative applications of artificial intelligence technologies.

If you would like to present at an upcoming AI Seminar, please contact Colin Bellinger.

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