Biointerface Science

Our interest in Biointerface Science stems from our long-standing interest in controlling the interactions of biomolecules –largely proteins and polynucleotides– with artificial surfaces that range in length scale from macroscopic planar surfaces to the molecular surface presented by a protein Our interests in this area are largely applied in that we take a longstanding problem, such as the control of protein adsorption, and develop new tools and technologies from diverse fields – polymer chemistry, surface science and biochemistry–to solve these problems. Our current interests in this field are using polymer brush coatings that we developed ~5-7 years ago that show exceptionally low protein adsorption for application in clinical diagnostics. We also have parallel interest in the use of template independent DNA and RNA polymerases to develop new nucleic acid tests using and enzyme catalyzed surface initiated polymerization. We continue to dabble in plasmonics, largely in collaboration with David Smith’s group in ECE, wherein we have discovered new plasmonic behavior that stems from the coupling of a gold nanoparticle with a gold film at very short separation distances. We are interested in the nanoparticle-film plasmon ruler as transducers of diverse biological events that range from probing the conformational heterogeneity of proteins to analyte binding.