Sze Yinn (Jessie) Wong

Chemical Engineering Grad Student
B.S. in Bioengineering, University Of California, San Diego
Favorite Activities: Traveling, Yoga, Pilates and Hiking
Hometown: Malaysia

Designing Anti-fouling and Drug Releasing Thin Film Coatings via Layer-by-Layer (LbL) Deposition Technology

My thesis work focuses on designing thin polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) film coatings via layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition technique with the ability to kill pathogenic bacteria and inactivate human viruses, especially the influenza (flu) virus on contact. This work builds on four years of research at the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) focusing on creating new, non-leaching microbicidal material; this film is envisioned to be used as permanent surface coatings for weapons, equipments, uniforms, personal items, etc. because a small reduction in the rate of infection will greatly enhance the readiness and performance of soldiers and other military personnel. Extending this application to everyday life, imagine if commonly handled objects like doorknobs, computer keyboards, and toys can be made sterile by coating them with these highly effective microbicidal PEM films. The ultimate aim of this thesis work is to create a dual functional film for implantable devices with a permanent microbicidal base for long-term prevention of biofilm formation, as well as controlled release of a therapeutic agent via a hydrolytically degradable top film. So far, we have successfully designed a set of contact-killing ionically cross-linked polymeric thin films; a polycation, linear N,N-dodecyl,methyl- polyethylenimine (DMLPEI), with microbicidal activity was layered with a polyanion, such as poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), to create LbL films highly effective against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus (Gram negative and positive bacteria, respectively), as well as influenza A/WSN (H1N1) virus. We then moved on to design a new bi-functional LbL construct combining the permanent microbicidal base film with a hydrolytically degradable PEM top film offering controlled and localized delivery of therapeutics (e.g. antibiotic, anti-inflammatory drug, etc.). Films with anti-fouling capability has also recently been explored.