Elda Hegmann

Elda Hegmann

Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor
Contact Information
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The focus of our research group is the use of liquid crystals (LCs) and Liquid Crystal Elastomers (LCEs) for biological applications.

The main areas are:
a) LCs that are able to mimic biological materials and, b) Biosensors for optical imaging and diagnostics.

LCEs have been long sought as artificial tissues based on a combination of orientational ordering, induced by liquid crystalline moieties, and elastic properties of polymers. The materials created in our lab will include materials with predictable, controllable/tuneable properties for the use of drug delivery systems and therapeutic purposes. Our materials include elastic properties specifically engineered as biodegradable tissue scaffolds

Another research area is the imaging of biological cells and their behaviour on modified substrates and scaffolds. Recently, we have been working on developing materials as toxic gas and vapour sensors.



  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences & AMLCI, 08/2017 TT @ KSU

  • Assistant Professor, Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI, now AMLCI) since 03/2016 TT @ KSU

  • Assistant Professor, 2011 - 2016 NTT @ KSU

  • Associate Research Officer, 2008 - 2011 @ Institute for Biodiagnostics/National Research Council Canada (IBD-NRC)

  • Postdoctoral Fellow at a Federal Laboratory (NSERC- PDF), 2005 - 2008 (IBD-NRC)

  • Sessional Instructor, 2008 - 2011 @ International College of Manitoba (ICM)

  • Sessional Instructor, 2007 - 2008 @ Chemistry Department; University of Manitoba (U of M)

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, 2003 - 2005 @ U of M (M. Freund)

  • Sessional Lab Instructor, 2003 - 2005 @ U of M

  • Research Associate, 2002 - 2003 @ Queen’s University (B. Amsden)

  • PhD 2003 @ UniversitéLaval (C. G. Bazuin)

  • MSc1996 @ Universidad Autónomade Coahuila (D. Navarro-Rodríguez)


Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities Publications (some under maiden name):

  • S. Shadpour, A. Nemati, N. Boyd, L. Li, M. Prévôt, S. Wakerlin, J. Vanegas, M. Salamończyk, E. Hegmann, C. Zhu, M. Wilson, A. Jakli, T. Hegmann, “Heliconical-layered nanocylinders (HLNCs) – hierarchical self-assembly in a unique B4 phase liquid crystal morphology”, Mater. Horiz., 2019, Advance Article DOI:10.1039/C9MH00089E

  • M.E. Prévôt, J.P. Vanegas García, J. Pérez-Prieto, Y. Molard, E. Hegmann, and T. Hegmann*, “Emissive Nanomaterials and Liquid Crystals”, 2018, 21ST CENTURY NANOSCIENCE- A Handbook, Taylor & Francis Books, Inc. Edited by Klaus D. Sattler, Ph.D. In press.

  • E. Hegmann*, The 2017 International Liquid Crystal Elastomers Conference (2017 ILCEC), Liquid Crystals Today, 2018, 27:2, 25-27, DOI: 10.1080/1358314X.2018.1479159.

  • M.E. Prévôt, S. Ustunel, and E. Hegmann*, “Liquid Crystal Elastomers—A Path to Biocompatible and Biodegradable 3D-LCE Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration”, Review in Special Issue "Liquid Crystal-Assisted Advanced Functional Materials”, Materials 2018, 11, 377. DOI:10.3390/ma11030377 Invited

  • M. E. Prévôt, H. Andro, S. L. M. Alexander, S. Ustunel, C. Zhu, Z. Nikolov, S. T. Rafferty, M. T. Brannum, B. Kinsel, L. T. J. Korley, E. J. Freeman, J. A. McDonough, R. J. Clements*, and E. Hegmann*, Liquid crystal elastomer foams with elastic properties specifically engineered as biodegradable brain tissue scaffolds. Soft Matter 201814, 354-360. DOI: 10.1039/c7sm01949a, Invited
  • M.E. Prévôt, L.E. Bergquist, A.Sharma, T. Mori, Y. Gao, T. Bera, C. Zhu, M.T. Leslie, R. Cukelj, L.T.J. Korley, E.J. Freeman, J.A. McDonough, R.J. Clements, and E. Hegmann*, “New developments in 3D liquid crystal elastomers scaffolds for tissue engineering: from physical template to responsive substrate ”, Proc. of SPIE Vol:10361, 103610T1-11 (2017).

  • M.E. Prévôt, and E. Hegmann*, “From Biomaterial, Biomimetic, and Polymer to Biodegradable and Biocompatible Liquid Crystal Elastomer Cell Scaffolds”, Chapter 1 in Advances in Bioinspired and Biomedical Materials, Vol. 2, ACS1253: 3-45 (2017). Invited

  • M.E. Prévôt, S. Ustunel, L.E. Bergquist, R. Cukelj, Y. Gao, T., Mori, L. Pauline, R.J. Clements, and E. Hegmann, Synthesis of Biocompatible Liquid Crystal Elastomer Foams as Cell Scaffolds for 3D Spatial Cell Cultures. J. Vis. Exp. (122), e55452, doi:10.3791/55452 (2017).

  • M. E. Prévôtand E. Hegmann, “From biomaterial, biomimetic, and polymer to biodegradable and biocompatible liquid crystal elastomer cell scaffolds”. 2017 ACS Books, Books: Advances in Bioinspiredand Biomedical Materials, submitted.

  • M. E. Prévôt, S. Ustunel, L. E. Bergquist, R. Cukelj, Y. Gao, T. Mori, R. J. Clements, and E. Hegmann, “Synthesis of Biocompatible Liquid Crystal Elastomer Foams as Cell Scaffolds for 3D Spatial Cell Cultures”. JoVE, 2017, in press.

  • A. Sharma, T. Mori, C. J. Mahnen, H. R. Everson, M. T. Leslie, A. d. Nielsen, L. Lussier, C. Zhu, C. Malcuit, T. Hegmann, J. A. McDonough, E. J. Freeman, L. T. J. Korley, R. J. Clements, and E. Hegmann, “Effects of Structural Variations on the Cellular Response and Mechanical Properties of Biocompatible, Biodegradable, and Porous Smectic Liquid Crystal Elastomers”, 2017 in press; DOI: 10.1002/mabi.201600278.

  • T. Bera, C. Malcuit, R.J. Clements, and E. Hegmann, “The role of the surfactant during microemulsion photopolymerization for the creation of 3D liquid crystal elastomer microsphere cell scaffolds”, Frontiers in Materials, section Biomaterials, 2016, 3, 31; DOI:10.3389/fmats.2016.00031

  • Y. Gao, S. Manning, Y. Zhao, A. d. Nielsen, T. Mori, A. Neshat, A. Sharma, C. J. Mahnen, H. Everson, S. Crotty, R. J. Clements, C. Malcuit, and E. Hegmann, “Biocompatible3D liquid crystal elastomer cell scaffolds and foams with primary and secondary porous architecture”, ACS Macro Lett. 2016, 5, 4-9.

  • T. Bera, E. J. Freeman, J. A. McDonough, R. J. Clements, A. Aladlaan, C. Malcuit, T. Hegmann, and E. Hegmann, “Liquid crystal elastomer microspheres as 3D cell scaffolds supporting the attachment and proliferation of myoblasts”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 7, 14528-14535.

  • B. Tian, W. Y. Wong, E. Hegmann, K. Gaspar, P. Kumar, and H. Chao, “Production and Characterization of a CamelidmSingle Domain Antibody–Urease Enzyme Conjugate for the Treatment of Cancer”, Bioconjugate Chem. 2015, 26, 1144-1155.

  • A. Sharma, A. Neshat, C. J. Mahnen, A. d. Nielsen, J. Snyder, T. L. Stankovich, B. G. Daum, E. M. LaSpina, G. Beltrano, Y. Gao, S. Li, B.-W. Park, R. J. Clements, E. J. Freeman, C. Malcuit, J. A. McDonough, L. T. J. Korley, T. Hegmann, and E. Hegmann. “Biocompatible, biodegradable and porous liquid crystal elastomer scaffolds for spatial cell cultures”. Macromol. Biosci. 2015, 15, 200-214. Featured on Wiley's Advanced Science News, featured as Back Cover

  • K.-S. Jang, J. C. Johnson, E. Hegmann, T. Hegmann, L. T. J. Korley, “Biphenyl-based liquid crystals for elevated temperature processing of polymers”, Liq. Cryst. 2014, 41, 1473-1482.

  • H. Chao, W. Wong, C. De Luca, B. Tian, E. Hegmann, K. Gaspar, J. Docherty, “Treating lung tumour through alkalization”, J. Thoracic Oncol. 2011, 6 (6), S935-S935.

(under maiden name)

  • E. Bravo-Grimaldo, S. Hachey, C. G. Cameron, and M. S. Freund, “Metastable reaction mixtures for the in-situ polymerization of conducting polymers”, Macromolecules 2007, 40, 7166-7170.

  • M. Benouazzane, E. Bravo-Grimaldo, R. Bissessur, and C. G. Bazuin, “Zinc coordination of carboxylic acid surfactomesogens to poly(4-vinylpyridine)”, Macromolecules 2006, 39, 5364-5370.

  • G. B. Kharas, J. R. Heiskell, J. Herrman, P. T. Kasudia, P. J. Schreiber, L. B. Passe, E. Bravo-Grimaldo, C. G. Bazuin, P. T. Romanowsky, and R. M. Schueller, “Solid-state polyelectrolyte complexes of branched poly(ethylenimine) and sodium laurylsulfate”, Journal of Macromolecular Science, Part A.: Pure and Applied Chemistry 2006, 43, 213-220.

  • H. M. Younes, E. Bravo-Grimaldo, and B. G. Amsden, “Synthesis, characterization and in vitro degradation of a biodegradable elastomer”, Biomaterials2004, 25, 5261-5269.

  • B. Amsden, A. Hatefi, D. Knight, and E. Bravo-Grimaldo, “Development of biodegradable injectable thermoplastic oligomers”, Biomacromolecules2004, 5, 637-642.

  • C. Geraldine Bazuin, J. Boivin, A. Tork, H. Tremblay, and E. Bravo-Grimaldo, “Variable composition mixtures of a tertiary amine-functionalized mesogenand poly(acrylic acid)”, Macromolecules 2002, 35, 6893-6899.

  • J. Herrman, L. B. Passe, G. B. Kharas, E. Bravo-Grimaldo, C. G. Bazuin, P. T. Romanowsky, and R. M. Schueller, “Solid-state polyelectrolyte complexes of branched poly(ethylenimine) and sodium laurylsulfate”, Amer. Chem. Soc. Polym. Prepr. 2001, 42 (2), 302-303.

  • E. Bravo-Grimaldo, D. Navarro-Rodríguez, and D. Guillon, “Liquid crystal properties of poly(2- vinylpyridine) fully quaternized with a mesogenic group”, Macromol. Chem. Phys. 1997, 198, 3863-3869.

  • E. Bravo-Grimaldo, D. Navarro-Rodríguez, and D. Guillon, “Liquid crystal properties of N- alkyl(ethylpyridinium) bromides ⎤-substituted with a mesogenic group”, Liq. Cryst. 1996, 20, 393-398.

  • D. Navarro-Rodríguez, E. Bravo-Grimaldo, D. Guillon, and A. Skoulios, “Architecture moléculaire des P4VPmodifiés avec des groupements mésogènes. Systèmes polymères: de la polymérisationaux propriétés”, Polytechnia, Paris 1995, 151-157.


  • Merck KGaA, Darmstadt. 2016.“Displaying Futures Award”. 

  • NSERC-Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow in a Canadian Government Laboratory (NSERC), 2005-2008. 

  • Student Award: Cover Design of Annual Report – Research Centre of Science and Engineering of Macromolecules (CERSIM), 1998. 

  • Doctoral Scholarship: Program “Becas de Excelencia” – National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) Mexico, 1997-2001

  • Doctoral Scholarship: Program “Bourse d'Excellence du Gouvernement Québécois” – Ministère de l'Éducation de Québec, 1997-2001

  • Master Science Scholarship: Program “Becas de Excelencia” – CONACyT, México, 1993-1996


  • M. Prévôt, A. Nemati, J. Vanegas, E. Hegmann, and T. Hegmann, US PCT 62/586,304, Invention Disclosure Form 11/06/2017; "Detection of gases and vapors by patterned nanoparticle liquid crystal alignment".

  • M. Prévôt, T. Hegmann, and E. Hegmann, Filing of Conversion Application claiming priority to US 62/572,902, filed 10/16/2017; Biodegradable, biocompatible 3D liquid crystal elastomeric foam scaffolds having tailor-made animal (human) pore cells sizes via a salt leaching method are capable of growing tissue therein for therapeutic reconstruction of damaged and/or diseased tissue or organs.

  • Y. Gao, T. Hegmann, and E. Hegmann, 12/19/2014; PCT/US2014/071618 “Biocompatible: smart responsive scaffold having interconnected pores”

  • Neshat, A. Sharma, T. Hegmann, and E. Hegmann, 04/15/2013, US PCT 61/853993 “Biodegradable side-chain LC elastomers: smart responsive scaffolds”

(under maiden name)

  • Michael S. Freund, Elda Bravo-Grimaldo, and Sarah Hachey. US PCT/CA2006/000879. “Metastable reaction mixtures for the in-situ polymerization of conducting polymers”


Thanks to the following agencies, organizations, funding agencies and industrial partners:

  • NSF-GOALIE, 2018-2021

  • Beam time at Brookhaven National Laboratory – US Department of Energy (DoE), 2018-2020

  • Beam time at Advanced Light Source (ALS) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - US Department of Energy (DoE), 2018

  • Ohio TeCK Fund: LiCrystalor LLC (now Torel LLC) - Toxic Gas and Vapor Sensors 2017-2018.

  • Beam time at Advanced Light Source (ALS) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory- US Department of Energy (DoE), 2017.

  • Displaying Futures Award: Liquid Crystal Gas and Vapor Sensors, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt. 2016.

  • NSF: CHE-1263087 (REU); 2017-2020.

  • Beam time at Advanced Light Source (ALS) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - US Department of Energy (DoE), 2016.

  • Scratch-resistant and scratch-healing polymer composites, Dankook University and Ceko Co. Ltd. Industry-sponsored collaboration, Korea; 2015.

  • Beam time at Advanced Light Source (ALS) - US Department of Energy (DoE), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2015.

  • NSF: CHE-1263087 (REU); 2013-2016.

  • KSU: PDF program (2 position, 2 years each), A&S Research Initiative - Collaborative Grant (with C. Malcuit, J.M. McDonough, R.J. Clements, E. Freeman and T. Hegmann); 2013-2015.

  • Evaluation of the efficacy of L-DOS47 as a therapy for lung cancer cells using a multimodal molecular imaging strategy, Helix BioPharma, Canada, 2010-2011.

  • Evaluation of antibody-delivered therapies for cancer using fluorescence imaging (Phase III), Helix BioPharma, Canada, 2008-2010.

  • Evaluation of antibody-delivered therapies for cancer using fluorescence imaging (Phase II), Helix BioPharma, Canada, 2007-2008.

  • Evaluation of antibody-delivered therapies for cancer using fluorescence imaging (Phase I), Helix BioPharma, Canada, 2006-2007.



PhD, Université Laval, 2003, MSc, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, 1996


polymer liquid crystals, liquid crystal elastomers, 3D scaffolds, microspheres, cell proliferation, biodegradable, biocompatible, star copolymers, reactive mesogens, microemulsions, photopolymerization, artificial muscles, amphiphilic surfactants

Research Institutes and Initiatives

Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute, Brain Health Research Institute