Breaking Biofilms with Ordinary Polymers – Light-Activated Antimicrobial Crosslinkers
Microbial growth on surfaces, or biofouling, is a pervasive problem across sectors including medical implants, hospital surfaces, water treatment, and environmental monitoring. Many existing solutions involve the use of harsh chemicals that may harm human health or the environment. In this work, our team of chemists, biologists, and engineers will develop a plastic that includes light-activated molecules that prevent microbes from growing, but do so in a way that is site-specific and inherently safe. Our partners, Epic Ventures, Inc. have introduced many other new materials to the market, and will work with us to translate our new polymers into useful coatings for medical devices, hospital environments, drinking water systems, and high performance materials.