Bioselective surfaces
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Bioselective Surfaces. Harvey Hoch, Convener, Cornell Pengju Luo (Clemson) Jeremy Tzeng (Clemson) Paul Millard (U of Maine) Bruce McPheron (Penn St.) Bruce Applegate (Purdue) Mrinal Bhattacharya (U. of MN). Background & Rationale.

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Bioselective surfaces

Bioselective Surfaces

Harvey Hoch, Convener, Cornell

Pengju Luo (Clemson)

Jeremy Tzeng (Clemson)

Paul Millard (U of Maine)

Bruce McPheron (Penn St.)

Bruce Applegate (Purdue)

Mrinal Bhattacharya (U. of MN)

Background rationale
Background & Rationale

  • Surfaces are the ubiquitous environment on which most chemical and biological interactions occur as such they are the key component to the fabrication and functionality of nano-tools for applications in agriculture and food systems.

Definition of bioselectivity
Definition of Bioselectivity

  • Interface in which the affinity for organisms or molecules is enhanced or reduced.

Objectives 1 of 2
Objectives (1 of 2)

  • To characterize the physiochemical properties of natural and synthetic surfaces to understand their basis for bioselectivity.

  • To develop surfaces with enhanced selectivity through biological, chemical, physical (including atomic, molecular, and nanoscales) for cells and biomolecules

Objectives 2 of 2
Objectives (2 of 2)

  • To develop surfaces that select against the molecular interactions for organisms and molecules through biological, chemical, physical methods.

  • To develop smart surfaces that have controllable active spatial and temporal binding and release properties.

Outcomes 1 of 3
Outcomes (1 of 3)

  • Bioselective surfaces are important to the development and operation of:

    • Biosensors

    • Monitors

    • Detectors

    • Catalysts

    • Protection through coatings

    • Drug Delivery

    • Detoxification

    • Bioseparation - Purification

Outcomes 2 of 3
Outcomes (2 of 3)

  • Remediation of pollutants, pathogens, bioactive molecules (heavy metals, estrogenic compounds, pesticides), from plants and animals prior to processing, food products, and the environment (including creosote, PCPs)

  • More precise, sensative, ecconomic, portable monitoring devices of plant and animal pathogens and pests, food microbes, and environmental toxicants.

  • Outcomes 3 of 3
    Outcomes (3 of 3)

    • Bioprocess capabilities

    • Delivery of drugs and nutrients

    • Monitor soil health (nutrients, water, etc.)

    • Advances in:

      • Pathogen, cell biology

      • Precision agriculture (modulated input delivery)

      • IPM

      • Food Safety (HACCP)

    • Surfaces that process and prepare study samples.


    • Facilitate nano related tool development

    • Improve sample preparation or presentation

    • Better sustainability of agriculture with more precise pathogen and pest control (IPM) reduce the use of antibiotics; more precise nutrient application

    • Improved ability to monitor accidentally or intentionally introduced sources of pests, pathogens, and toxicants.


    • Increase environmental quality by detecting and mitigate environmental contaminents

    • Longevity of implants

    • Life span of nanodevices

    • Reduced agriculture production costs through decreased pesticide usage

    • A new paradigm for extracting signal from noise.


    • For all four objectives, assuming awarding 10 to 12 three year projects per year, a biosurfaces program should receive $3-5M per year.

    • Since the biosurfaces area impacts many research priorities across the Federal government, USDA should leverage other agencies’ funding.

    • Recommend funding four regional nanoscience and engineering centers equipped to address “wet” nano R&D, $20M per year