Research funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is advancing novel coatings for applications in drug delivery, biosensors and medical devices for protection of warfighters and first responders from chemical and biological threats.
One project managed by Dr. Brian Pate of DTRA’s Joint Science and Technology Office (JSTO) looked into bioactive surface functionalization strategies based on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) polymerization, highlighting commonly used surface chemistries.
In a Journal of Applied Polymer Science article, “Orthogonal surface functionalization through bioactive vapor-based polymer coatings,” researchers, Dr. Xiaopei Deng and Dr. Joerg Lahann, from the University Michigan found that using CVD polymerization results in biofunctional surface coatings can facilitate orthogonal immobilization of more than one type of ligand on a substrate.
These results produce coatings with nanoscale thicknesses of wide applicability in biomedical applications, as well as micro- and nanodevices. These nanodevices are of vital importance to many biomedical applications such as drug delivery, biosensors, medical implants, and tissue engineering, thus providing new capabilities for field dressing of wounds.
Nanodevices are also of interest for applications including information storage and mechanical actuation for surface acoustic wave (SAW) immunosensors and field ion spectrometery.
Deng, the primary author on this paper, recently received her Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering under DTRA CB/JSTO support. Her thesis title is “Biologically Inspired Surface Design Using Chemical Vapor Deposition Polymerization.” She received several prestigious awards including the Charles G. Overbeger Award for Excellence in Research in 2012, in part, for her work with DTRA. She has continued on the DTRA project as a postdoctoral research fellow leading the CVD team in the University of Michigan labs.
This overall work on coatings is anticipated to have widespread applications for warfighters and first responders.
Source: DTRA CB JSTO, adapted.