McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
affiliate member Ellen Gawalt, PhD (pictured), Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University, is the recipient of a $200,198 grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Dr. Gawalt’s project is titled “Prevention of Biofilm Growth on Orthopedic Implant Materials through Chemical Surface Modification” and focuses on controlling the interface between implants constructed of stainless steel 316L, Ti-6Al-4V (titanium alloy), and Co-Cr-Mo (cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy) in order to retard biofilm formation and thus prevent costly infections.
Through the grant she and her team will develop robust organic surface chemistry that will act as a flexible platform for controlling the interfacial region between implants and tissues. The coatings will be developed from monolayer and surface-initiated polymer films. The organic coatings developed will be tested in conjunction with Dr. Luanne Hall-Stoodley at Allegheny General Hospital. The coatings will be tested for and modified to mitigate non-specific bacteria adhesion and subsequent biofilm formation on alloy implant surfaces.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Bio: Dr. Ellen Gawalt