CBE Seminar (Zoom): Combining an Intrinsically Antimicrobial Hydrogel and Nanopillar Surface for a Bandage Contact Lens

Zoom link to be distributed by CBE department
Sara Heedy

Ph.D. Candidate
Albert F. Yee Laboratory
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department
UC Irvine

Abstract: Upwards of 2 million people in the developing world are blinded by corneal ulcers. The majority are caused by corneal abrasions, which are subsequently contaminated by opportunistic microbes. Blinding corneal infections (keratitis) are traditionally treated with costly antifungals and antibiotics that have a poor visual outcome and may lead to antimicrobial resistance. This leads to the development of antimicrobial surfaces, which aim to limit the spread of microbes in the first place.  The Yee group has developed a prophylactic ocular bandage with an antimicrobial surface to decrease the cases of blinding keratitis. Heedy's talk will focus on work from the Yee group, which combines the two main approaches to producing an antimicrobial surface: using an antimicrobial material and topographical nanopatterns. The combination of these two antimicrobial strategies is found to synergistically inhibit growth of the pathogenic fungi Fusarium oxysporum and bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Bio: Sara Heedy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Yee Lab in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Her research interests include interfacial interactions and nanoconfinement of biopolymers. She enjoys her role as a lab assistant at IMRI. Outside of the lab, she enjoys teaching yoga, surfing and cycling.