The primary focus of our work in the Dutcher Lab is the physics of polymers, biopolymers and bacterial cells at surfaces and interfaces. These systems are very important in technological applications ranging from adhesion to optical coatings to information storage to biofilm contamination to self-assembled morphologies in bionanotechnology. In our research, we use a wide range of state-of-the-art, surface-sensitive techniques to probe the interaction of polymers, biopolymers and bacterial cells with a variety of different surfaces, ranging from atomically-flat surfaces to tethered lipid bilayer films to industrial-grade and food surfaces. By tuning both the properties of the surfaces and the polymer and biopolymer molecules, we hope to achieve an understanding of the underlying physical, chemical and biological principles and therefore predictive power in the design of novel technologies. Please see the links shown to the left for more details on our research projects, recent publications and research opportunities.
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