Biopolymer Adhesion

Mentor: M. Grady

Students will investigate surface modifications to controllably tailor biopolymer adhesion. In order to prevent the destructive growth of biofilms, we must understand the important parameters (e.g., chemical, physical, environmental) that contribute to biofilm adhesion. Students will learn a novel laser-induced stress wave technique for loading thin films, materials characterization techniques, and biofilm culture. The adhesion of model biopolymer films on surfaces with prescribed chemistries (self-assembled monolayers) and topography (surface roughness, surface patterning using nano fabrication techniques) will be measured by the laser-induced stress wave technique. Once surface design parameters are explored, the adhesion of cultured bacterial films will be characterized with the potential to expand to other cell types.