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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Vincent M. Rotello

Subject Categories

Biology and Biomimetic Materials | Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Other Materials Science and Engineering | Polymer and Organic Materials


Proteins have intrinsic molecular properties that are highly useful for materials applications, especially for biomaterials. My research has focused on translating these molecular properties to materials surface behavior. In one approach, I developed a fluorous-based thermal treatment strategy to generate stable thin films from a variety of naturally abundant proteins. The different surface properties generated from the choice of protein were utilized to modulate cell-surface interactions, prevent bacterial adhesions, and control drug loading/release. I have used nanoimprint lithography to generate patterned protein films for cell alignment. Coupling with inkjet printing deposition, I have fabricated mixed protein films with spatial and compositional control. In terms of biomedical applications, I have developed antimicrobial coatings by post-functionalization or loading antibiotics into protein films. Using a high internal phase emulsion template, I have developed a degradable protein-based porous material that showed great versatility for slow release of antimicrobial essential oils. Overall, these examples highlight the potency of using protein building blocks for the development of functional biomaterials.