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Undergraduate Programs

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

2019 Chemical Engineering Opportunities

Name: Mitch Anthamatten
Department: Chemical Engineering
Research area: Polymers for Biomed Applications
Lab website

Project Description

Designing Nanostructured Surfaces with Switchable Adhesion: Control of adhesion to a variety of biological surfaces is important to many emerging biomedical technologies.

This project involves the synthesis and molding of semi-crystalline shape-memory polymer networks into surfaces with deformable micro and sub-micron features. Surfaces will be temporarily flattened by applying an external force while cooling beneath the crystallization temperature. Once flattened, the surfaces exhibit greater adhesion due to improved contact between surfaces. When subsequently heated, melting of crystalline domains releases stored elastic energy, causing a decrease in adhesion.

Experiments will be designed and executed to elucidate relationships between surface topography, material properties, and switchable adhesion.