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Research Projects

Anti-Biofilm Biomaterials
This NIH/NIBIB supported research seeks to develop polymer biomaterials that prevent bacterial colonization and subsequent biofilm formation by using novel small molecules that do not kill bacteria but rather negate biofilm formation.  Biomaterials will release a variety of novel "anti-biofilm" therapies rather than employing a toxic compound such as an anti-biotic or disinfectant.  Such therapies include: gallium-siderophore complexes that interfere with iron metabolism, DNAse enzymes that disrupt the biofilm exopolymer matrix, specific species adhesion blockers. 

Engineering Infection Immunity
This group of NIH funded research projects seeks to generate biomaterials that self-vaccinate the host in order to prevent medical device based infections.  Biomaterial scaffolds will be created that can control dendritic cell (DCs) activation and efficiently transfect DCs with either pDNA or mRNA nucleic acid vaccines.
Healing by Controlling Macrophage Plasticity

Can certain macrophage phenotypes continue to differentiate in desired tissue cells, exhibiting stem-cell like behavior? If so, can biomaterials be designed to engineer macrophage phenotype and affect such plasticity?