Attachment of bacteria onto polymer surface coatings

Summary

Study of the viscoelastic response and surface properties of bacterial biofilms, and their interactions with polymer layers.

Supervisor(s)

Dr Chiara Neto

Research Location

School of Chemistry

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

Biofilms formed by bacteria onto surfaces are ubiquitous in nature, but the mechanism by which they form is still poorly understood. This study investigates the process by which bacteria attach irreversibly to surfaces, and how the process can be delayed or avoided. Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D), together with atomic force microscopy and other sophisticated surface characterisation techniques, will be employed to investigate the properties of polymer coatings that minimise the attractive interaction of bacteria to solid surfaces.1

  1. Telford, AM; James, M; Meagher, L and Neto, C. Thermally cross-linked PNVP films as antifouling coatings for biomedical applications. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2 (8), 2399-2408, 2010. DOI: 10.1021/am100406j

Additional Information

The project primarily involves performing experiments using a wide range of surface modification techniques, and surface characterisation techniques such as quartz crystal microbalance (QCM-D), atomic force microscopy (AFM), contact angle goniometry, ellipsometry, and grazing angle FTIR. The modification of solid surfaces using advanced surface coatings will be performed both in the lab and through external collaborations. Interested students should source their own scholarship, as detailed on the University’s website.

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Keywords

Physical chemistry, surface and materials science, interfaces, quartz crystal mucrobalance, protein-repellent, biocompatibility, bacteria attachment, biofilms, polymer films, nanostructured coatings, superhydrophobic surfaces, micro-patterning, wettability.

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1587

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