Research

 

Madeleine Ramstedt

Associate Professor at Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Sweden

Our group performs interdisciplinary work within the Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR), Umeå University, Sweden. The overall and long-term aim of the research is to understand and prevent bacterial attachment as well as biofilm formation onto surfaces. The work can roughly be divided into a more applied part where we use polymer brush films to prevent bacterial attachment, and a more fundamental research part where we try to understand and untangle complex factors promoting or inhibiting bacterial attachment and biofilm formation onto surfaces.

In the applied research we use inherent properties of different polymer films creating non-adhesive surfaces and/or we attach bioactive substances to the polymer films to create bioactive surfaces with anti-biofilm properties.

In the fundamental research we study how surface physico-chemical properties of bacterial cells and abiotic surfaces, as well as environmental conditions, influence bacterial attachment and biofilm formation using multivariate analysis tools and experimental design. This allows us to study several parameters at once and extract synergies.

Members

Madeleine Ramstedt - Principal Investigator

Olena Rzhepishevska - Researcher

Thereza Soares

Associated Professor at Department of Fundamental Chemistry, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil

The research in the Biomaterial Modelling Group focuses in the use of computational chemistry methodologies with the aim of understanding biomolecular processes and to interpret experimental observations. Our current research deals with the development and application of atomistic and coarse-grain models to characterise the physical-chemical properties of carbohydrates and membrane systems, with emphasis in lipopolysaccharide membranes. Within the STINT framework, our group is investigating how molecular brushes interact with bacterial and mammal membranes from a microscopic perspective. Our goal here is to identify how hydrophobic and electrostatic forces modulate interactions between membrane surfaces and molecular brushes.   

Members

Thereza Soares - Professor

Frederico Pontes - Post-doctoral fellow

Júlio da Silva - Post-doctoral fellow

Gabriel da Hora - PhD student

Denys Santos - Undergraduate student

Andresa Messias - Undergraduate student

Julien Gautrot

Lecturer in Biomaterials, School of Engineering and Materials Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Research in our group focuses on the synthesis, processing and patterning of biomaterials. In particular, we are interested in the design of bio-interfaces (interfaces between proteins, cells or tissues and inert materials) which can be used in applications such as scaffolds for tissue regeneration or for the expansion of stem cells.

Our work on biomaterials design aims to develop new synthetic routes for the bio-functionalisation of polymers and surfaces. These tools need to be simple, robust and compatible with peptide and protein chemistry, as these molecules are typically used to confer bio-activity. Specific areas of research include polymer brushes, thiol-ene chemistry and peptide functionalisation.

In order to study some of the fundamental mechanism underlying cell biology, we also develop micro- and nano-structured platforms. This allows us to manipulate the cell micro-environment in order to study phenomena such as cell adhesion formation, stem cell differentiation and multi-cellular organisation.

Key questions that these synthetic and patterning tools allow us to address are: how do biological, mechanical and chemical properties of bio-materials cross-talk to control cell behaviour and in particular stem cell fate decision? How do cells remodel such materials and how does this impact on cell behaviour and tissue formation? Finally, what is the minimum set of rules or properties required to achieve a desired cell or tissue function?

Members

Julien Gautrot – Lecturer

Mahentha Krishnamoorthy

Burcu Colak

Khai Nguyen

Pei Tang

Dexu Kong

Stefania DiCio

William Megone

Danyang Li