Research Group Website: https://umaine.edu/howelllab/
Biointerfaces • Bio-Inspired Technology Development • Bacterial and Fungal Biofilm Formation and Control • Biomolecular Surface Interactions • Mammalian Cell Surface Interactions
Inspired by Nature, our group works to understand and ultimately control biological systems through surface interactions and other environmental factors. Over the millennia, organisms such as sharks and pitcher plants have developed methods to keep their surfaces clean or perform specific functions such as trapping insects. Following this example, we look to guide the interactions of biomolecules, micro-organisms, and cells using nontoxic, non-invasive surface-based methods to accomplish specific goals. Our work can be applied to medicine, where we reduce clot formation or the onset of infection; to industry, where we mitigate fouling and clogging of pipes and membranes; and to the home, where we create self-cleaning materials which can continue to function over extended periods of time. Through the development of these technologies, we also strive to understand the basic science behind biological surface interactions to provide a basis for future technologies and applications.