Alfredo Alexander-Katz




Prof. Alfredo Alexander-Katz' doctoral work focused on understanding the self-assembly of copolymers using novel field-theoretical methods. As an NSF International Postdoctoral Fellow, he moved to Munich to study the dynamics of driven polymers. His work in Munich led to an important discovery that unraveled the mystery behind the process of blood clotting at high shear rates and opened new routes for the development of novel shear responsive materials. He later moved to the Ecole Superieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle (Paris, France) as a CNRS postdoctoral researcher to study charged polymer solutions and their self-assembly with direct applications to fuel cells. His current interests lie in the realm of self-assembly and dynamics of biological soft-materials using a combination of analytical theory and simulations. His group is particularly focused in designing novel polymer-like drug delivery carriers and understanding their response to chemical and physical stimuli. This work aims to enable a new generation of drug-delivery vectors that could target different areas of the body in a very specific manner, and to provide a much deeper understanding of the processes of adhesion and targeting in flow. Other topics that he is currently pursuing is understanding the supramolecular self-assembly of chlorophyls in the antennas of Photosynthetic Bacteria which are the most efficient light harvesting organisms on Earth, as well as studying the dynamics of driven soft systems in general. The research in Prof. Alexander-Katz's group is highly interdisciplinary, and lies at the interface of materials, biology, physics, chemistry and medicine.

Selected Publications

"Field-theoretic simulations of confined polymer solutions," A. Alexander-Katz, A.G. Moreira, and G.H. Fredrickson, J. Chem. Phys. 118, 9030 (2003).

"Shear-flow-induced unfolding of polymeric globules," A. Alexander-Katz, M. F. Schneider, S.W. Schneider, A. Wixforth, and R. R. Netz, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 138101 (2006).

"Shear-induced unfolding triggers adhesion of von Willebrand factor fibers," S.W. Schneider, S. Nuschele, A. Wixforth, C. Gorzelanny, A. Alexander-Katz, R.R. Netz, and M.F. Schneider, PNAS 104, 7899 (2007).

"Diblock copolymer thin films: a field-theoretic simulation study," A. Alexander-Katz and G.H. Fredrickson, Macromolecules 40, 4075 (2007).

"Surface-enhanced unfolding of collapsed polymers near surfaces," A. Alexander-Katz and R.R. Netz, Europhysics Lett. 80, 18001 (2007).

Related News

Microscopic walkers find their way across cell surfaces
Technology could provide a way to deliver probes or drugs to cell structures without outside guidance.
October 23, 2014
Gold nanoparticles in medical use
Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs.
July 21, 2014
Physics of Living Systems Group
A common set of ideas and approaches brought together a trio of MIT professors and their research teams to form the Physics of Living Systems group, which opened a new lab and offices mid-April at
May 2, 2014
DOE Early Career Awards Announced
Professor Alfredo Alexander-Katz is among the five MIT recipients of the 2013 Early Career Award of the Office of Science of th
May 8, 2013
Faculty Promotions announced
  Profs. Alfredo Alexander-Katz and Geoff Beach will both be promoted to the rank of Associate Professor as of July 1, 2013.
February 21, 2013
How do wounds heal? Materials scientists are figuring it out.
Professor Alexander-Katz and his colleagues are working on understanding how blood clots after an injury, an understanding that may have future applications in medicine.
January 8, 2013
Innovative complex self-assembly
Professor Ross, Professor Alexander-Katz, and their collaborators have developed a new technique that allows production of complex microchip structures in one self-assembling step.
July 19, 2012
Self-assembled structures
Professor Caroline Ross, Professor Alfredo Alexander-Katz, and their colleagues have found a new way of making complex three-dimensional structures using self-assembling polymer materials that form
June 8, 2012
Videos of the Microscopic Ants from the Alexander-Katz group January 22, 2010