Research Summary

Design and fabrication of antibacterial nanomaterials

The aim of this project is to design a new class of bioinspired antibacterial surfaces based on the nanoscale control of surface topography and geometry inspired by the bactericidal activity of cicada and dragonfly wings. It was found during PhD that such insect wing surfaces kill bacterial cells. Initially, I would fabricate wing-inspired nanostructured material inspired using high-end fabrication techniques in IISc Bangalore. The bacterial attachment investigation would be performed on the fabricated nanomaterials. This will be followed by cytotoxic behaviour study on the nanomaterials and understanding the mechanism of the cell-interaction on such materials. Different approaches to fabricate such nanomaterials in an economical way will also be looked into.

Figure Legend: Scanning micrographs of (a) rod- and (b) spherical-shaped bacterial cells attached on nanostructured insect wing surfaces and (c) side view of a bioinspired black silicon material. All scale bars are 200nm. (d) a cartoon depiction of a live cell, after coming in contact with the nanomaterial, is ruptured rendering the surface antibacterial. The research project will be revolutionary for combating biofilm associated infections and contaminations in medical implants, industrial pipelines, household objects, glass, windows and commercial products. Antibacterial or bactericidal surfaces are desired especially those which are everlasting and do not deplete their mechanisms. This project will produce such nanostructured materials that would kill the bacteria on contact and unlike the chemical based mechanisms where there is a threat of chemical depletion and development of bacterial resistance; the topography based mechanism would be effective and long-lasting similar to the evolved insect wing nanostructures.