IFIMAC+ICMM Joint Seminar Series focuses on cutting-edge research on condensed matter physics, bringing speakers from all over the world to our Cantoblanco Campus. All talks are streamed online. Some of them will be celebrated on campus and onsite participation will also be possible. You need to subscribe to our mailing list at the link provided below to get the links to the seminar room. https://listas-correo.uam.es/sympa/subscribe/seminarios-ifimac-icmm-l

Engineering Bio-Inspired Surfaces to Control Biological Systems

Caitlin Howell, University of Maine (USA)

January 13th (Thursday), 2022, 12:00 CET

Hybrid, on-line-on-site


Over millions of years, nature has developed elegant solutions to a wide variety of challenges. Thanks in part to recent advances in materials science, we are now at a point where we can replicate and even improve upon these solutions, using them to solve human problems. Ongoing work in the Howell group at the University of Maine has been dedicated to designing bio-inspired solutions to issues associated with controlling the interactions of biological systems with abiotic surfaces. In one application, liquid-infused surfaces inspired Nepenthes pitcher plant can be used to resist adhesion by bacteria on medical devices such as urinary catheters. A similar liquid-coating strategy can be used to reduce fouling and blockage of water purification membranes and even assist in the capture and analysis of airborne pathogens. Bio-inspired liquid surfaces can also be made on paper, a sustainable resource and staple industry of Maine, permitting a new approach to liquid sample handling that use origami folds to create functionality. Finally, Maine industrial paper-making technology can be used mass-produce surface structures that make biological system-handling approaches such as microfluidics commercially viable. The use of bio-inspired strategies to solve human problems—particularly those of biological interactions with surfaces—is a new and growing area of investigation with significant potential for creative innovation across the fields of industry and medicine.