Surface topography has been known to alter bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation. It has become evident that surface hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity and effective contact area are the two main factors that are responsible for the different bacterial adhesive behaviour on surfaces. However, topographical effects on bacterial viability and biofilm formation are less studied until recently. Recent studies have shown that nano-patterned or nano-structured surfaces can induce the lysis of bacterial cells through unique physiomechanical mechanisms.
This project forms part of an exciting programme of research within the Bristol Dental School to produce novel biomimetic antimicrobial surfaces based on nanotopography for medical devices and implants. Nature has provided us excellent examples of such surfaces in shark skin and insect wings. Different nano-patterning techniques will be investigated to create anti-fouling and bactericidal surfaces on clinically relevant materials such as titanium metals and PEEK polymers, e.g. anodisation, controlled oxidation, hydrothermal synthesis and nanolithography. The correlation between nano-feature size and bactericidal performance will be established for the rational design of new antimicrobial materials independent of antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infections in medical implants. Advanced imaging and molecular tools will be used to elucidate the nanotopography-induced anti-biofilm mechanisms.
Applicants, who have a first class or 2:1 or equivalent honours degree, or MSc or MPhil in chemistry, materials, and microbiology subject, are encouraged to apply.
When applying please select "PhD in Oral and Dental Science" within the Faculty of Health Sciences.