I-Corps: Multi-functional nanostructures with directed irradiation synthesis for smart biomaterials

Project: Research project

Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project will be a transformative approach at fabricating novel smart multi-functional nanostructures that meet the needs of next generation advanced materials by providing a process that is green, cheap, fast, and versatile. This approach to nanostructure synthesis has applications in biotechnology, energy and tooling, among others. For example, in the healthcare field each year nearly one million people in the United States suffer from an infection related to medical implants. Additionally, implants in bone can loosen over their lifetime due to poor tissue integration, resulting in inflammation and pain, and possibly requiring additional surgeries. These issues can potentially be solved through the synthesis of inherently anti-bacterial biomaterial surfaces that enhance biological tissue integration. The commercialization of this technology has the potential to redefine industrial material design paradigms.This I-Corps project is based around a form of plasma processing of materials called Directed Irradiation Synthesis (DIS) and Directed Plasma Nanosynthesis (DPNS). This technology is able to change the inherent properties of a material surface by creating customized nanoscale topographies (pores, rods, cones, ripples, etc.) and chemistries (stoichiometry, oxidation state, etc.) by exposing the surface to a controlled flux of ions, electrons, and neutral particles with controlled mass, momentum, and fluence, among other conditions. This allows a new level of fidelity with atom-by-atom control using self-organized arrangement in irradiated surfaces that is dominated by ion-induced erosion and surface diffusion. This technology will transform the synthesis and design of nano-structured systems by leveraging the composition-dependent mechanisms that drive self-organization on micro- and nano-structures to enable tunability and control of their biological properties.
Effective start/end date3/1/178/31/17


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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