‘The Maine Question’ asks how nature-inspired engineering can improve human health

Antibiotic resistance has become a growing problem in the treatment of bacterial infections. In addition to minimizing or negating the effects of existing medicine, these antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs,” are mutating faster than the development of new remedies. 

Caitlin Howell, University of Maine associate professor of biomedical engineering, is working on new tools that take notes from nature to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Like the body’s living tissues, Howell’s devices use nontoxic, non-invasive surface-based technology to prevent bacteria from sticking, growing, and spreading. 

In the final episode of season eight of “The Maine Question” podcast, Howell discusses how nature can inspire engineers when developing new resources for improving human health. She elaborates on her research developing technology that can help reduce infections among hospital patients. 

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube or “The Maine Question” website

What topics would you like to learn more about? What questions do you have for UMaine experts? Email them to mainequestion@maine.edu.