Paula T. Hammond
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineer; Medical scientist; Educator
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Engineering and Technology
David H. Koch Professor in Engineering. Hammond demonstrated the use of non-specific interactions, along with steric and electrostatic interactions, in LbL (polyelectrolyte multilayer assembly technique known as layer-by-layer) as a means for directed assembly of two dimensional ordered structures. She enabled the deposition of polyelectrolytes, colloids, and nano-objects on chemically patterned surfaces by establishing a set of rules that define the conditions required for selective deposition on specific surface regions. With Belcher, she used this method to assemble ordered arrays of viruses atop functional ultrathin films. Established that LbL thin films could be adapted to act as solid state electrolytes and thin film polymer membranes for electrochemical devices. With Belcher and Chiang, she exploited this phenomenon to generate an unusually high capacity virus battery electrode. She incorporated organic conjugated polymers into thin films to generate synergistic interactions in the nanocomposite films which result in novel properties that are being exploited to create practical electrochemical systems. She applied LbL assembly to create drug delivery systems for therapeutic applications ranging from hemostasis to orthopedic bone regeneration. Hammond's advances in energy and drug delivery are currently being translated by companies, and her current focus is on the delivery of siRNA to address cancer at the MIT Koch Institute.