Wendy Thomas, Ph.D.
Department of Bioengineering
"Molecular Biomechanics of Adhesion"
Bacteria need to be able to bind to surfaces under high levels of
shear stress from flowing
bodily fluids. The resulting drag force would normally weaken or
eliminate biological adhesion,
but bacteria have developed mechanisms at both the nanoscale and
microscale to not only
withstand high shear stress but actually bind more strongly under flow
than in static
conditions. The biomechanics and significance of this counterintuitive
phenomenon will be