Biofilm Monitoring and Treatment
   Collaborators
   Research Overview
    Bacterial infections are the leading cause of disease worldwide, and the development of antimicrobial drugs has been one of the highest priorities of biomedical research. It has been shown that certain types of bacteria communicate with each other through small signaling molecules. This capability, called quorum sensing, allows bacteria to perform population-coordinated actions and to overcome the host's immune system. The bacteria aggregate and form a pathogenic matrix known as a biofilm. The composition and organization of the biofilm limits diffusion of molecules including antibiotics into and throughout the structure. Bacteria in biofilms can also exchange their gene expression, resulting in much higher antibiotic resistance than bacteria in suspensions. Because of these properties, the treatment of biofilms is particularly challenging, oftentimes requiring antibiotic doses in excess of 500 times that is needed for the same bacteria in planktonic states. However, such high doses are impractical because they dramatically increase the risk of harmful side effects and contribute to the proliferation of multidrug resistant strains. There exists, therefore, a great need to enhance efficacy of existing antibiotics and develop innovative tools to limit dose as well as a biofilm sensor for early detections to prevent from matured biofilm infections for effective biofilm management.

    One way our group approaches this challenge is by integrating a biosensor for real-time biofilm growth detection with an effective treatment method. The sensor has to be biocompatible, highly sensitive and reliable for consideration as an implantable microsystem. We have developed and integrated a novel effective biofilm treatment method based on a concept of bioelectric effect with the sensor. We envision this new approach can provide a systematic method for in-vivo biofilm management. Another promising new approach for combating bacteria is to develop drugs that disable their communication, making them less pathogenic and more susceptible to antibiotics. We are developing microfluidic devices for studying biofilm formation, its dependence on quorum sensing, and potential new methods for eradicating biofilms. Growth of clinically relevant bacterial biofilms can be optically monitored in microfluidic devices, and biofilm growth is correlated with environmental factors. Our group is also investigating microscale fluidic manipulation technologies to provide additional scientific rigor to biofilm studies. For example, pneumatic valves integrated into the microfluidic network are used to partition an on-chip biofilm into identical sections, allowing for multiple, well-controlled studies to be performed on the same biofilm and on the same chip. The device concepts developed by our group not only can be used by researchers as tools to study biofilms and gather scientific information, but can also be applied toward pharmaceutical development. Operating in parallel and leveraging small volumes, these microfluidic platforms can help streamline the drug evaluation process.

   Theses
    M. T. Meyer, "Design and Implementation of Microfluidic Systems for Bacterial Biofilm Monitoring and Manipulation," Ph.D. Thesis, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, January 2014.

    Y. W. Kim, "An Atomic Layer Deposition Passivated Surface Acoustic Wave Sensor for Biofilm Growth Monitoring," Master of Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, February 2011.

    S. T. Koev, "Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a Microsystem for Monitoring Bacterial Quorum Sensing," Ph.D Thesis, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, July 2009.

   Journal Papers
   Conference Papers
    Y. W. Kim, M. T. Meyer, S. Subramanian, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "An Enhanced Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Treatment Using an Integrated Microsystem," The 18th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTas 2014) , San Antonio, TX, October 26-30, 2014.

    S. Subramanian, M. T. Meyer, Y. Kim, W. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "The Development of a Valve Based Microfluidic Biofilm Reactor for Biofilm Studies with Reliable Controls," American Vacuum Society 61st International Symposium, Baltimore, MD, November 9-14, 2014.

    E. Tolstaya, Y. Kim, S. Chu, K. Gerasopoulos, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "An Inductive-Capacitive Sensor for Real-time Biofilm Growth Monitoring," American Vacuum Society 61st International Symposium, Baltimore, MD, November 9-14, 2014.

    S. Subramanian, Y. W. Kim, M. T. Meyer, H. O. Sintim, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "A Real-Time Bacterial Biofilm Characterization Platform Using a Microfluidic System," Hilton Head Workshop 2014: A Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Workshop, pp. 163-166, Hilton Head, SC, June 8-12, 2014.

    Y. W. Kim, M. T. Meyer, W. E. Bentley, R. Ghodssi, "An Enhanced Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Treatment Using an Integrated Microsystem, 24th Anniversary World Congress on Biosensors, Melbourne, Australia, May 27-30, 2014.

    R. Ghodssi, M. T. Meyer, Y. W. Kim and S. Subramanian, "Lab-on-a-Chip Systems for Bacterial Biofilm Detection and Analysis", International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium (ISDRS 2013), Bethesda, MD, December 11-13, 2013 (Invited paper).

    R. Ghodssi, M. T. Meyer and Y. W. Kim, "Microsystems for Sensing and Characterization of Bacterial Biofilms", IEEE Sensors 2013, Baltimore, MD, November 4-6, 2013 (Invited paper).

    Y. W. Kim, M. T. Meyer, A. Berkovich, A. A. Iliadis, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "An Integrated Microsystem for Biofilm Detection and Treatment," The 17th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS 2013), pp. 200-202, Freiburg, Germany, October 27-31, 2013.

    Y. W. Kim, M. T. Meyer, H. Ben-Yoav, M. Gnerlich, R. Ghodssi, "Atomic Layer Deposition for Biomedical Science and Engineering Applications," Workshop on Enabling Nanofabrication for Rapid Innovation (ENRI 2013), Napa, CA, August 18-21, 2013.

    M. T. Meyer, Y. W. Kim, H. Ben-Yoav, M. Gnerlich, and R. Ghodssi, "ALD-Assisted Passivation Technology for Biofilm Studies in Microfluidics," The 7th International Conference on Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology (MMB), pp. 10-11, Marina del Rey, CA, April 10-12, 2013.

    Y. W. Kim, H. Ben-Yoav, H.C. Wu, D. Quan, K. Carter, M. T. Meyer, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "An Enhanced Bacterial Biofilm Treatment Using Superpositioned Electric Field," The 7th International Conference on Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology (MMB), pp. 102-103, Marina del Rey, CA, April 10-12, 2013.

    Y. W. Kim, M. T. Meyer, and R. Ghodssi, "An ALD Aluminum Oxide Passivated Surface Acoustic Wave Sensor for Bacterial Biofilm Growth Monitoring," US-Korea Conference 2012, Los Angeles, CA, August 8-11, 2012.

    M. P. Mosteller, M. Austin, S. Yang, and R. Ghodssi, "Platforms for Engineering Experimental Biomedical Systems," 22nd Annual INCOSE International Symposium, pp. 1-15, Rome, Italy, July 9-12, 2012.

    Y. W. Kim, M. P. Mosteller, M. T. Meyer, H. Ben-Yoav, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "Microfluidic Biofilm Observation, Analysis, and Treatment (Micro-BOAT) Platform," Hilton Head Workshop 2012: A Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Workshop, pp. 233-236, Hilton Head, SC, June 3-7, 2012.

    Y. W. Kim, S. E. Sardari, M. T. Meyer, A. A. Iliadis, H. C. Wu, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "An ALD aluminum oxide passivated Surface Acoustic Wave sensor for early biofilm detection," Biosensors 2012, pp. P3.80 , Cancun, Mexico, May 15-18, 2012.

    Y. W. Kim, S. E. Sardari, A. A. Iliadis, and R. Ghodssi, "Atomic Layer Deposition of Aluminum Oxide for Effectie Surface Passivation of a MEMS Biosensor," 11th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition, pp. 257, Cambridge, MA, June 26-29, 2011.

    Y. W. Kim, S. E. Sardari, A. A. Iliadis, and R. Ghodssi, "A Bacterial Biofilm Surface Acoustic Wave Sensor for Real Time Biofilm Growth Monitoring," IEEE Sensors 2010, pp. 1568-1571, Waikoloa, HI, November 1-4, 2010.

    M. T. Meyer, V. Roy, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "A Microfluidic Device for Optical Absorbance Monitoring of Bacterial Biofilms," IEEE Sensors 2010, pp. 2291-2294, Waikoloa, HI, November 1-4, 2010.

    M. T. Meyer, Y. W. Kim, V. Roy, S. E. Sardari, A. Iliadis, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "Development of Lab on a Chip Platforms for Bacterial Biofilm Monitoring and Detection," 2010 International Conference on Biofabrication, Philadelphia, PA, October 4-6 2010.

    M. T. Meyer, V. Roy, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "A Microfluidic Platform for Optical Monitoring of Bacterial Biofilms," The 26th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference (SBEC), pp. 426-429, College Park, MD, April 30 - May 2 2010.

    X.-W. Shi, X. Yang, Y. Liu, P. Dykstra, G. W. Rubloff, R. Ghodssi, W. E. Bentley, and G. F. Payne, "Stimulus responsive biopolymers for protein and cell electroaddressing," The 238th ACS National Meeting, pp. 701-702, Washington D.C., August 16-20, 2009.

    M. T. Meyer, S. T. Koev, R. Fernandes, W. E. Bentley, and R. Ghodssi, "Toward a selective optical biosensor for integrated biofilm detection", American Vacuum Society 55th International Symposium, Boston, MA, October 19-25, 2008.

    G. F. Payne, T. Chen, L-Q. Wu, D. A. Small, H. Yi, R. Ghodssi, G. W. Rubloff and W. E. Bentley, "Assembly and Disassembly of Hydrogels to Entrap, Grow, and Release Cells," American Vacuum Society 50th International Symposium, Baltimore, MD, November 2-7, 2003.