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Sger: Combustion Synthesis Of Nanostructured Metallic Foams: Reactant Composition And Antibacterial Properties

Investigators
Hunt, Emily M
Institutions
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
Start date
2009
End date
2010
Abstract

0914382 E. M. Hunt A one-year exploratory research project will explore thermite-generated metallic foams containing silver nanoparticles and their possible antibacterial effects. Silver is known to have such an effect, and dispersing the nano-sized 'silver bullets' could have valuable societal / technological impacts, forming the basis for new antibacterial products that would be nontoxic to higher organisms. The foam, its generation techniques, and its properties are all interesting and represent innovative, exploratory research. The PI intends to develop preliminary results testing her hypothesis that 'the Al particle size and amount of gasifying agent will affect the microstructure of the metallic foam as well as the antibacterial efficacy.' Factorial experimental design will be applied to establish and optimize the effects of precursor particle size, amount of gasifying agent, and optimum reactant mixture, where the properties to be optimized have to do with antibacterial action on E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The PI is partnering with Dr. Naharun Ghosh, Associate Professor of Biology, who will oversee this part of the work and serve with the PI as a co-advisor of the graduate student working on the project. Morphology will also be examined by electron microscopy (TEM and SEM) and X-ray diffraction. The project should also have valuable educational impacts for the engineering and biology students involved in the one-year project. West Texas A&M is a primarily undergraduate-serving institution, offering a useful opportunity to stimulate students for science and engineering studies, as shown by the PI's other educational activities. By engaging a female PI, an African-American male undergraduate, and a Hispanic female undergraduate, the project would have impact on diversifying the STEM impact.

Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project number
914382
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Staphylococcus