A study from U of T Engineering researchers shows that mechanical deformation of medically implantable materials — such as bending or twisting — can have a big impact on the formation of potentially harmful biofilms. The study, described in a paper published in Scientific Reports, shows that even slight bending of elastomeric materials such as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), also known as silicone, opens up microscopic cracks that are perfect environments for colonizing bacteria.
For this month’s member spotlight, we caught up with Sarah Haines, an assistant professor in the department of civil and mineral engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Sarah’s research is on building science and indoor environmental quality with a particular focus on indoor air quality and the indoor microbiome. We also talk about her work with Indigenous communities to improve housing and drinking water quality.
A Q&A with EPIC member Warren Chan about his efforts to engineer better diagnostics for infectious diseases and how he became interested in this area.