2DBEST 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.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.