The PI proposes to develop an integrated research and educational plan in bioengineering. The research component involves a study of the mechanism of bacterial adhesion to surfaces, a key early step in the development of infections on implant devices.
Non-specific (colloidal-type) and receptor-mediated interactions of Staphylococcus aureus to surfaces will be measured using total internal reflection microscopy and three dimensional laser optical trapping. The forces and attachment kinetics will be used to develop a mechanistic mathematical model for bacterial attachment. The ambitimus educational plan involves participation in the development of a graduate, multi-disciplinary degree program in biomedical engineering and an undergraduate degree program in biochemical engineering. The PI will participate by developing new class and laboratory courses in both areas.