Stress Resistant Biofilms

Thrust Area-1

The U.S. spends $30 to $50 billion annually to fight challenges caused by microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC). A goal of 2D BEST Center Area-1 is to develop a new class of 2D coatings to protect underlying metals from MIC effects of sulfate-reducing bacteria.

2D coatings are thousands of times thinner than polymer coatings and yet stronger than steel. The spacing between atoms in 2D materials is so small they could restrict corrosive species from reaching underlying metals. The group seeks BIG data and data science tools (Area-3) to identify candidate 2D coatings from classes of MXenes, Xenes, Nitrides, Transition metal dichalcogenides and organic materials.

Area-1 will begin its efforts with the use of chemical vapor deposition/pulse-laser deposition techniques to grow both pristine and defective forms of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride coating. The group is encouraging investigators to use the Biofilm Knowledge and Information Discovery System (Biofilm-KIDS; to be developed by Area-3) to predict 2D material functions, biofilm phenotypes, and MIC resistance in response to changes in surface properties.

Area-1 also seeks to use omics tools developed by Area-2 to identify genes/regulatory networks that govern protein attachment, adherence, biofilm formation and MIC. Other interdisciplinary approaches sought by Area-1 include microfluidics design, dynamic 3D imaging, single cell sequencing and in-silico approaches.

The 2D coatings are expected to perform better than polymer coatings.