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D. Raghavan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry

Our research team has had success in mapping nanoscale polymer heterogeneity in thin films using Atomic Force Microscopy and nanoindentation. The work is centered on model coatings and real coatings. The research work is being done in close collaboration with scientists at NIST. We would like to translate some of the initial success that we had in thin film coatings work towards evaluating the biocompatability of gradient energy surfaces, patterned dewet polymer films, and patterned polymer surfaces. We have prepared gradient energy surfaces using the chemical etch method followed by flow coating polymer solution to develop dewet patterns. Efforts are underway to use combinatorial method in investigating the morphology of patterned dewet polymer films using optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The long term goal of this research team is to develop a fundamental understanding of protein-structured polymer interactions. Some of the studies that we will undertake require the assembly of protein on tip surfaces and the measurement of the protein-surface interaction. Our efforts will not be limited to mechanical patterning but will explore novel approaches to patterned polymeric surfaces.
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