2D BEST Award Information

The 2D Biofilm Science and Engineering Center focuses on preventing biofilm formation on materials causing corrosion and encouraging positive biofilm activities on plant roots to increase nitrogen fixation, reducing the need for commercial fertilizers.

Seed Grants

SD EPSCoR currently solicits Seed Grant proposals from researchers at the NSF EPSCoR Track-1 partner institutions. A total of $200,000 is available in project year 3. High-impact proposals supporting NSF EPSCoR Track-1 goals and objectives are solicited. Research proposals supporting transformative solutions or innovative uses of 2D materials and biofilms are solicited as well as innovative STEM education, outreach, and diversity activities. It is anticipated that at least 4 awards for up to 12-months, October 1, 2021-September 30, 2022, will be made. Deadline is 5 p.m. (MDT), Friday, July 30, 2021. Applicants must collaborate with a current Track-1 researcher on an application.

Proposals for high-risk, high reward biofilm research at the intersection of biofilms, 2D materials and big data are solicited. Seed Grant funds are intended to:

  1. support innovative activities that will result in submission of proposals to federal agencies or private organizations, and
  2. allow individuals not currently supported by Track-1 funding to become involved in the Track-1 activities.

Year-1 Awards for the current Track-1 project include the following:

  • Exploring Rheology Properties of Biofilm with Multifractal and Multiscale Data Analytics — Dr. Shankarachary Ragi, South Dakota Mines, is conducting research focused on the development of novel computational approaches to characterize mechanical properties of biofilms (also called biofilm rheology) and the rules of its dependence on atomic-scale characteristics of the surface modified with 2D coatings. This project will show how the atomic-scale properties of the surface modified with 2D coatings will influence the mechanical properties of biofilms.
  • Radio Frequency Transparent Coating Solution for Preventing Microbial Corrosion on Antennas in Harsh Environments — Dr. Chaoyang Jiang, University of South Dakota, is developing porous concave gold nanoparticles with unique morphology and novel surface functionalization that will be used to study the biomaterial growth on dental materials.
  • Development of Porous Concave Gold Nanoparticles for the SERS Detection of Functional Biofilms — Dr. Sayan Roy, South Dakota Mines, is researching the development of a biofilm preventive coating solution for protecting communication systems in harsh environments from microbial corrosion. The research focuses on reducing biofilm formation on metals and ceramics in agricultural, industrial and defense applications.
  • Characterizing Nitrogen Fixing Biofilms of Indigenous Food Plants Pediomelum esculentum (Prairie Turnip) and Shepherdia argentea (Buffalo Berry) — Dr. Nick Klein, Sinte Gleska University, and Dr. Sen Subramanian, South Dakota State University, are working with Native American undergraduate students researching the nitrogen fixing of prairie turnips and buffalo berries, both of which hold significant value as traditional medicines and food sources for the Native American community.

Year-2 Awards for the current Track-1 project include the following:

  • Quantifying biofilm growth impacts on performance of wastewater infiltration systems modified with 2D materials — Dr. Mengistu Geza, South Dakota Mines, leads a study looking into how bioclogging (the plugging of pore space in soil media with microbial biofilms) reduces water flux in wastewater and stormwater infiltration systems, and how this bioclogging process is affected if infiltration media is modified with 2D materials.
  • Plasma Jet Coating for Biofilm Applications — Dr. Prasoon Diwaker, South Dakota Mines, is focusing on developing a cost-effective, defect-free and scalable method of coating 2D materials on metallic and non-metallic surfaces using a cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) technique.
  • Synthetic nodules using polysaccharide beads for sustainable plant nitrogen nutrition — Dr. Srinivas Janaswamy, South Dakota State University, is developing synthetic nodules using polysaccharide beads for sustainable plant nitrogen nutrition to reduce the need for chemical nitrogen fertilizers and alleviate their negative effects on the environment.
  • Role of priority effect on gut microbiota assembly on gut mucosal interface — Dr. Abhijit Maji, South Dakota State University, is studying gut microbiomes and how the “priority effect” determines the gut microbial community composition in the gut mucosal interface. Formation of a bacterial community/biofilm on the gut mucosal surface with predominantly beneficial species may help to improve host health.