Research Summary: We focus on studying physical and biophysical phenomena on surfaces with nano-topography. Unlike “flat” or microstructural surfaces, surface topography on the scale of macromolecular clusters, bacteria, or focal adhesions of cells have interesting effects on the physical or biophysical behavior of the species that adhere to the surface. Currently we are studying the effect of topography on adhesion of mammalian cells and transformations of phenotypes of macrophages, and bactericidal properties of nanopillars. We are also studying approaches to controlling adhesion between materials in a biomedical environment, such as in implants. Our research is both basic and has applications in biomedical devices.
In the micrographs below we show the effects of surface topography on Escherichia coli. The topographies are obtained by nanoimprinting. P1, P2 and P3 have surface pillars of decreasing dimensions. (E. coli is about 2 microns in length.) On the smallest nanopillars P3, the bacterium appears penetrated and flattened.
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Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science: