Nanoparticle Stress on Biofilms

Red blood cells flowing in a blood vessel with green rods and green mats representing bacteria and nanoparticles floating in the fluid

Team: Joshua Prince (PhD CEE), Darryl Taylor (PhD CEE), Daniel Tento (BS ChE)


Nanoparticles are used in medical devices, therapeutics, paint, sunscreen, coatings, etc. Nanoparticles accumulate in biofilms in estuary environments and this may be the entry to bioaccumulate through the food chain. While it is known how charge influences nanoparticle accumulation once they are inside the biofilm, it is unknown why they are attracted there originally. 

Hypothesis & Methods

Analytical modeling of fate and transport of nanoparticle from the bulk to the biofilm interior porosity

Experimental verification of these models will be conducted using hydrogels as a steady-state approximation

Potential Outcomes & Impact

Biofilm structures could remove nanoparticles from manufacturing waste streams and better environmental fate models

Publications, Presentations, Patents

Joshua Prince and A-Andrew Jones "Mass-Transfer Relations for Nanoparticle Transport across Human-Biofilm Interface” 2020 AIChE Annual Meeting Virtual, 11/2020. (2nd Place Graduate Presentation Competition)


Funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health