The Schiffman Lab: Biopolymer Materials for Biomedical & Environmental Applications

We synthesize materials for a variety of biomedical and environmental applications. We focus on engineering natural polymers (biopolymers) and plant-derived agents because they offer us a platform of intrinsic properties. For example, our nanoparticles, fiber mats, ultra-thin films, and hydrogels are naturally are antimicrobial, chelate metal ions, or inhibit corrosion. Establishing structure-to-function relationships of our new materials, as well as the investigating the interface between materials and microbes are of particular interest to us. Specific materials of interest include drug delivery nanoparticles, anti-biofilm/anti-corrosion thin-film coatings, platforms for pathogenic microbial detection, wound healing nanofiber scaffolds, as well as fouling-resistant membranes for water purification. Our research is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing influences from chemical engineering, materials science, and environmental engineering.