Supervisors: Professor Peter Kingshott (Swinburne), Professor Elena Ivanova (RMIT), Professor Russel Crawford (RMIT), Dr Helmut Thissen (CSIRO)
Thesis title: A Multifunctional Coating for Long-term Antimicrobial Purposes
Thesis synopsis: Medical device associated infection has been a persistently growing issue. Bacterial adhesion to various biomaterials followed by proliferation and extracellular matrix accumulation leads to biofilm formation, resulting in chronic infections or implant failure. While staphylococci represent the most frequently detected pathogens causing implant-related infections, a broad range of pathogens can be responsible as there are possibilities of forming mix-community biofilm. As biological systems are naturally complicated and hierarchically structured, approaches providing a broad range of antimicrobial spectrum and multiple layers of defense are required. There are results showing the successful combination of metallic materials onto polymeric substrates by cold spray (CS) to make multi-approach coating. In this study, we are going to explore and develop a functionalized material surface with antimicrobial activity by applying cold spray method. Mixture, or multiple layers of coatings of polymers, nanoparticles, transition metallic materials with antibacterial activities will be used for functionalization of various substrates to achieve multifunctional coatings. Besides, considering long-term orthopedic implants, a time-controlled drug releasing system represents a promising strategy to optimize the system. Embedding crystallized nano/micro-structured drug into coatings will also be performed in this study.
Tzu-Ying Liao (Sandy) completed a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University. During her Master’s, Sandy focus was on the development of coatings containing functionalised polymers including zwitterionic copolymers, temperature-responsive polymers, and coatings with certain types of surface topography in the field of Bioengineering. She has experience in polymer synthesis, chemistry characterizations, eukaryotic cell as well as bacterial culture. As an Exchange Student, from Taiwan to the CSIRO, she worked on the design of biosensor conjugated electrochemical grafting and biomolecule immobilization for sensing in marine animals.