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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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