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Justin R. Barone

Professor
barone_justin

Education

Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, Macromolecular Science and Engineering (2000).

M.S. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, Engineering Science (1997).

B.S. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, Materials Science and Engineering (1994).

Experience

Professor, Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, June 2018-present.

President/Owner, Protein Q, Inc., Roanoke, VA, August 2014-present.

Associate Professor (w/ tenure), Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, June 2011-May 2018.

Co-Owner, Eastern Bioplastics, LLC, Mount Crawford, VA, March 2008-November 2016.

Associate Professor (w/o tenure), Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, January 2007-June 2011.

Research Chemist, USDA/ARS, Beltsville, MD, September 2002-December 2006.

Advanced R&D Engineer, Polymer Diagnostics, Inc. (a division of the PolyOne Corp.), Avon Lake, OH, April 2000-September 2002.

Research Assistant, BP Chemicals Fellow, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, Cleveland, OH, January 1997-March 2000.

Research Assistant, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Materials Research Group, Newark, NJ, January 1996-December 1996.

Project Engineer, Utility Development Corporation, Livingston, NJ, January 1995-January 1996.

Selected Major Awards

Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports and Green Materials.

Courses Taught Last Five Years

  • BSE 3154 Thermodynamics of Biological Systems
  • BSE 3504 Transport Processes in Biological Systems
  • BSE 3524 Unit Operations in Biological Systems Engineering
  • BSE 4524 Biological Processing Plant Design
  • BSE 4604 Food Process Engineering

Other Teaching and Advising

In the past 5 years, I have mentored 10 undergraduate students and 2 high school science teachers in my research laboratory.  I also served as the director of the NSF-REU: Bioprocess Engineering for Sustainability and the ICTAS-REU: Soft matter physics, from theory to application.  Each year I mentor graduate students and student design teams.  In the summer we have over 100 K-12 students in our laboratory to perform the Jell-O Plastics! hands-on lab.  I am the faculty advisor for the Virginia Tech Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society Rubber Division.   

Program Focus

Research in the Biopolymers and Bioinspiration Laboratory is focused on discovering new biopolymer structures and bioinspired polymeric materials and low energy processes to form them.  

Food Biopolymers like proteins and polysaccharides form networks with each other and the other molecules in the food like fats and flavor compounds.  Food biopolymers need to be properly hydrated to yield good texture and flavor.  Research focuses on biopolymer network formation and self-assembly, hydration level, and varying the hydrating molecules like water and sugars and how these factors influence food texture.  Bioinspiration allows us to adapt natural phenomena to engineering practice.  Flowers open and close and plant stems twist and curl to allow the plant to grow and thrive.  Research focuses on extruding and molding synthetic polymer systems that can also open and close and twist and curl just like their natural counterparts and describing the material mechanics that govern such complex shape change.  Research also focuses on understanding how environmental processes like water transport, sunlight, temperature, and impact allow plastic litter to breakdown to small microplastics (MPs) and become nuisances in the environment.

Publications (last 5 years)

(agraduate student, bundergraduate student, chigh school science teacher, *corresponding author)

1.         J.P. Zainob and J.R. Barone*, “Analysis of the controlled fragmentation of plastics to microplastics,” (in prep).

2.         L.E. Hanzlya, N. Chauhanb, and J.R. Barone*, “pH responsive cyclic gelatin actuators,” (in prep).

3.         L.E. Hanzlya, K.A. Kristoffersonb, and J.R. Barone*, “Biologically controlled gelatin actuators,” Green Materials, submitted (2020).

4.         N. Christensenb, C.E. Wisingerb, L.A. Maynardb, N. Chauhanb, and J.T. Schubertb, J.A. Czuba*, J.R. Barone*, “Transport and characterization of microplastics in inland waterways,” Journal of Water Process Engineering, accepted (2020).

5.         B.L. DeButtsa and J.R. Barone*, “Processing-property relationships in wheat protein-isoprene rubber composites,” Rubber Chemistry and Technology, in press (2020). DOI: 10.5254/rct.20.80448

6.         L.E. Hanzlya, B.L. DeButtsa, D. Shellb, and J.R. Barone*, “Protein aggregation in aqueous polyvinyl alcohol solutions,” Green Materials, 8(1), 32-39 (2020). DOI: 10.1680/jgrma.19.00012

7.         B.L. DeButtsa, R.V. Thompsonc, and J.R. Barone*, “Hydrolyzed wheat protein as a self-assembled reinforcing filler in synthetic isoprene rubber vulcanizates,” Industrial Crops and Products, 141, 111815 (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2019.111815

8.         B.L. DeButtsa, N. Chauhanb, and J.R. Barone*, “Agricultural proteins as multifunctional additives in ZnO-free synthetic isoprene rubber vulcanizates,” Journal of Applied Polymer Science136, 48141 (2019). DOI: 10.1002/app.48141

9.         C.E. Wisingerb, L.A. Maynardb, and J.R. Barone*, “Bending, curling, and twisting in polymeric bilayers,” Soft Matter, 15, 4541-4547 (2019).

10.     L.A. Maynardb, B.L. DeButtsa, and J.R. Barone*, “Mechanical and thermal properties of polyolefin thermoplastic elastomer blends,” Plastics, Rubber, and Composites: Macromolecular Engineering, 48(8), 338-346 (2019). DOI: 10.1080/14658011.2019.1625633

11.     A.M. Davisb, L.E. Hanzlya, B.L. DeButtsa, and J.R. Barone*, “Characterization of dimensional stability in flax fiber reinforced polypropylene composites,” Polymer Composites, 40, 132-140 (2019).

12.     B.L. DeButtsa, C.R. Spiveyc, and J.R. Barone*, “Wheat gluten aggregates as a reinforcement for poly(vinyl alcohol) films,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 6, 2422-2430 (2018).

13.     B.L. DeButtsa, L.E. Hanzlya, and J.R. Barone*, “Protein-polyisoprene rubber composites,” Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 135, 46026 (2018).

14.     W. Zhanga, J.R. Barone, S.H. Renneckar*, “Reducing the heterogeneity of xylan through processing,” Carbohydrate Polymers, 150, 250-258 (2016).

15.     W. Zhanga, N. Sathitsuksanoh, B. Simmons, C.E. Frazier, J.R. Barone, and S.H. Renneckar*, “Revealing the thermal sensitivity of lignin through structural analysis,” RSC Advances, 6(36), 30234-30246 (2016).

16.     D.M. Hall, I.R. Bruss, J.R. Barone, and G.M. Grason*, “Morphological selection via geometric frustration in chiral filament bundles,” Nature Materials, 15, 727-732 (2016).

17.     W. Zhanga, N. Sathitsuksanoh, J.R. Barone, and S.H. Renneckar*, “Enhanced enzymatic saccharification using glycerol thermal processing (GTP),” Bioresource Technology, 199(1), 148-154 (2016).

18.     G.P. Noble, D.W. Wang, D.J. Walsh, J.R. Barone, M.B. Miller, K.A. Nishina, S. Li, and S. Supattapone*, “A structural and functional comparison between infectious and non-infectious autocatalytic recombinant Prp conformers,” PLoS Pathogens, 11(6), e1005017 (2015).

19.     E.C. Clauncha, D.M. Ridgleya, and J.R. Barone*,Completely self-assembled fiber composites,” Composites Science and Technology, 117, 1-8 (2015).

20.     D.M. Ridgleya, C.M.W. Rippnera, and J.R. Barone*, “Design and construction of large amyloid fibers,” Fibers, 3(2), 90-102 (2015).  (invited feature article)

21.     W. Zhanga, J.R. Barone, and S.H. Renneckar*, “Biomass fractionation after denaturing cell walls by glycerol thermal processing,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 3(3), 413-420 (2015).

Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceedings (last 5 years)

1.         B.L. DeButtsa and J.R. Barone*, “Cure and mechanical properties of filled, ZnO-free, sulfur-cured isoprene rubber,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper#TBD, p. , March 2019, Polymer Modifiers and Additives Section.

2.         L.A. Maynardb, C.E. Wisingerb, and J.R. Barone*, “Mechanical actuation in polymeric bilayers,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper#TBD, p. , March 2019, Thermoplastic Elastomers Innovations and Applications Section.

3.         L.A. Maynardb, B.L. DeButtsa, and J.R. Barone*, “Elastic recovery and actuation in polyolefin thermoplastic elastomers,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper#TBD, p. , May 2018, Thermoplastic Elastomers Section.

4.         B.L. DeButtsa, Renee Thompsonc, and J.R. Barone*, “Wheat protein as a participant in the sulfur-curing of isoprene rubber,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper#TBD, p. , May 2018, Bioplastics Section.

5.         B.L. DeButtsa, L.E. Hanzlya, and J.R. Barone*, “Self-assembled protein-rubber nanocomposites,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper #286, p. 469-473, May 2017, Bioplastics Section.

6.         B.L. DeButtsa, C.R. Spiveyc, and J.R. Barone*, “Compression-molded protein-PVA nanocomposite films,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper #287, p. 1256-1261, May 2017, Flexible Packaging Section.

 

Oral and Poster Presentations

 

March/April 2020: ANTEC Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers, San Antonio, TX

·   C. Wisinger, L. Maynard, and J. Barone, “Bending, curling, and twisting of polymeric bilayers,” Undergraduate Section (2020-UG01, virtual poster)

December 2019: American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA

·   N. Christensen, J. Czuba, and J. Barone, “Microplastic accumulation in floodplains,” Session H108, Plastics in the Geosphere

October 2019: International Elastomer Conference, American Chemical Society Rubber Division, Cleveland, OH

·   C. Wisinger, L. Maynard, and J. Barone, “Programmable shape change in bio-inspired thermoplastic elastomer bilayers,” Paper 2057

·   C. Wisinger, L. Maynard, and J. Barone, “Programmable shape change in bio-inspired thermoplastic elastomer bilayers,” Paper 2063 (poster)

·   B. DeButts, N. Chauhan, and J. Barone, “Agricultural proteins as multifunctional additives in ZnO-free synthetic isoprene rubber vulcanizates,” Paper 2058 (poster)

August 2019: Fall National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Diego, CA

·   J. Czuba, and J. Barone, “Transport and characterization of microplastics in inland waterways,” POLY-24 (invited)

·   J. Barone, panelist, “Characterization of plastics in aquatic environments: A panel discussion” (invited)

May 2019: USDA Nanotechnology for Agricultural and Food Systems Annual Grantees Conference, Nashville, TN

·   B. DeButts and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber”

March/April 2019: Spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Orlando, FL

·   L. Hanzly and J. Barone, “Enzymatic actuation in gelatin bilayers,” CELL-503

·   C. Wisinger and J. Barone, “Mechanical actuation in polymeric bilayers,” POLY-264

·   C. Wisinger, L. Maynard, J. Czuba, and J. Barone, “The fate of microplastics in inland waterways,” POLY-73

March 2019: ANTEC Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Detroit, MI

·   L. Maynard, C. Wisinger, and J. Barone, “Mechanical actuation in polymeric bilayers,” Thermoplastic Elastomers Section

·   B. DeButts and J. Barone, “Cure and mechanical properties of filled, ZnO-free, sulfur-cured isoprene rubber,” Bioplastics Section

February 2019: Food Science and Technology Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

·   J. Barone, “Shape-shifting and textured foods: a soft matter perspective” (invited)

September 2018: Virginia Soft Matter Workshop, Blacksburg, VA

·   J. Barone, “Shape-changing polymers”

June 2018: Gordon Research Conference on Nanoscale Science and Engineering for Agriculture and Food Systems, South Hadley, MA

·   B. DeButts and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber” (invited, poster)

May 2018: Spring Meeting of the Blue Ridge Rubber Group, Floyd, VA

·   B. DeButts, R. Thompson, and J. Barone, “Zinc-free synthetic isoprene rubber vulcanizates using wheat protein as an activator,” (invited)

May 2018: ANTEC Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Orlando, FL

·   L. Maynard, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “Elastic recovery and actuation in polyolefin thermoplastic elastomers,” Thermoplastic Elastomers Section

·   B. DeButts, R. Thompson, and J. Barone, “Wheat protein as a participant in the sulfur-curing of isoprene rubber,” Bioplastics Section

March 2018: 255th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, New Orleans, LA

·   L. Hanzly and J. Barone, “Gelatin hydrogel actuators,” CELL-51 (invited, + Sci-Mix poster)

·   L. Maynard and J. Barone, “Microstructural changes in polyolefin thermoplastic elastomers affect elastic recovery and energy dissipation,” POLY-240 (+ Sci-Mix poster)

·   B. DeButts, R. Thompson, and J. Barone, “Zinc-free synthetic isoprene rubber vulcanizates using wheat protein as an activator,” CELL-303

March 2018: American Physical Society March Meeting 2018, Los Angeles, CA

·   L. Hanzly, L. Maynard, and J. Barone, “Actuation in simple gel and elastomer systems,” Active Mechanics of Networks and Gels I

February 2018: Industrial Hemp Summit, Danville, VA

·   J. Barone, “Materials science opportunities for industrial hemp” (invited)

December 2017: ACS Polymer Chemistry Division Polymers and Nanotechnology Workshop, San Diego, CA

·   L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, D. Shell, and J. Barone, “Early stage amyloid ‘pompons’ are realized in vitro in viscous polymer solutions” (invited)

June 2017: Southeastern Polymer Forum, Blacksburg, VA

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, C. Spivey, and J. Barone, “Influence of polymeric environment on self-assembled nanostructure morphology,” Nanoscale of Macromolecules Session

May 2017: USDA Nanotechnology for Food and Agricultural Systems Annual Grantees Conference, Washington, DC

·   B. DeButts and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber”

May 2017: ANTEC Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Anaheim, CA

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Self-assembled protein-rubber nanocomposites,” Bioplastics Session

·   B. DeButts, C. Spivey, and J. Barone, “Compression-molded protein-PVA nanocomposite films,” Flexible Packaging Session

·   A. Davis, L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “Dimensional stability analysis of flax fiber reinforced polypropylene composites” (poster)

April 2017: 253rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, CA

·   A. Davis, L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “Direct comparison of protein and lignocellulose fibers as reinforcements in polymer matrix composites,” CELL-121 (poster)

·   A. Davis, L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “Dimensional stability analysis of flax fiber reinforced polypropylene composites,” CELL-123 (poster)

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Amyloid reinforced rubber nanocomposites,” CELL-227 (invited)

·   B. DeButts, C. Spivey, and J. Barone, “Amyloid reinforced polyvinyl alcohol nanocomposites,” CELL-184 (invited)

·   L. Hanzly and J. Barone, “Protein self-assembly in polar polymer environments of varying viscosity,” PMSE-53 (+ Sci-Mix poster)

·   L. Hanzly and J. Barone, “The role of disulfide bonding in protein aggregation,” BIOT-535 (poster)

March 2017: School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA

·   J. Barone, “High performance natural polymer materials” (invited)

March 2017: Plastics Engineering Department, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Lowell, MA

·   J. Barone, “High performance natural polymer materials” (invited)

February 2017: Macromolecular Science and Engineering Department, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

·   J. Barone, “High performance natural polymer materials” (invited)

February 2017: Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering Department, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

·   J. Barone, “Self-assembly of protein b-sheets and their use in nanocomposites” (invited)

October 2016: Virginia Soft Matter Workshop, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Protein-polymer nanocomposites”

October 2016: Fiber Science Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Self-assembly of amyloid fibers and their use in composites” (invited)

July 2016: International Symposium on Materials from Renewables, Fargo, ND

·   L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation in polymer nanocomposites”

June 2016: USDA Nanotechnology for Food and Agricultural Systems Annual Grantees Conference, State College, PA

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber”

May 2016: Energy Polymer Group Annual Meeting, Arlington, TX

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber” (invited)

May 2016: ANTEC Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Indianapolis, IN

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation in polymer nanocomposites” (poster)

May 2016: Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics Symposium, Blacksburg, VA

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Protein nanocomposites”

May 2016: NSF I/UCRC CenTiRe Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, Blacksburg, VA

·   J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation during tire rubber compounding”

March 2016: 251st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Diego, CA

·   D. Roth and J. Barone, “Properties of large amyloid fibers,” CELL-42

·   D. Roth, D. Ridgley, B. Freedman, F. Gillam, and J. Barone, “Genetic engineering of functional large amyloid fibers,” CELL-5 (voted best paper in the session)

·   B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation in polymer nanocomposites,” POLY-183 (invited)

November 2015: NSF I/UCRC CenTiRe Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, Akron, OH

·   J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation during tire rubber compounding”

September 2015: 10th Annual Energy Harvesting Workshop, Blacksburg, VA

·   D. Roth and J. Barone, “Engineered protein piezoelectric materials”

June 2015: NSF I/UCRC CenTiRe Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, Blacksburg, VA

·   J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation during tire rubber compounding”

February 2015: Biophysical Society 59th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

·   D. Hall, I. Bruss, J. Barone, and G.M. Grason, “Morphology selection through geometric frustration in twisted filament bundles and fibers” Protein Assemblies II, 2660-Pos (poster)

 

Selected Recent Funding

2018-2019       VT-ICTAS-REU, “ICTAS REU Site: Soft Matter Physics, from Theory to Application,” $10,000 (PI)

2016-2020       USDA-NIFA, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber,” $283,884 (PI)

2016-2018       NSF-CBET, “Multi-scale metabolic modeling and engineering workshop,” $17,304 (co-PI)

2016                NSF I-Corps, “In situ nanofiller formation during polymer processing,” $50,000 (PI)

2015-2016       NSF-I/UCRC-CenTiRe, “In situ nanofiller formation during tire rubber compounding,” $44,520 (PI)

540-231-0680

jbarone@vt.edu