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SBIR/STTR

Inhibition of Biofilm Formation Using Novel Nanostructured Surfaces, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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Inhibition of Biofilm Formation Using Novel Nanostructured Surfaces, Phase I
Biofilms are ubiquitous in the environment. Few surfaces resist biofilm formation, most promote it. Biofilm formation poses problems in water systems as they can clog pipes and pores, block filters, reduce heat transfer, and in general restrict flow. Their metabolic products can aid corrosion, even of stainless steel. In potable water systems, both their metabolic products and the bacteria or fungi themselves directly pose a health hazard. A space environment appears to be a particularly favorable one for biofilm formation. Cell cultures have shown far higher rates of growth in low-gravity environments. Space radiation seems to accelerate microbial growth and foster their mutation. Within a closed environment with many non-replaceable resources, prevention of biofilm formation is paramount. To meet this need, Agave BioSystems and the Universities Space Research Association, propose to develop carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and other nanostructures for the prevention of biofilm growth. In this Phase I, we propose to demonstrate that the use of nanostructured materials can prevent or inhibit growth of biofilms due to geometry effects and that they can also be functionalized with a biocide. More »

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