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Krazy-adhesives: development of glues that work underwater

Study level

PhD

Master of Philosophy

Honours

Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/Lead unit

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Dr Phong Tran
Position
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

Overview

Almost all current adhesives loose activity in water. However, in many applications especially in medical, things need to glue together under wet conditions.

The project will tackle this challenge using biomimetic approach. In nature, several water species secrete protein matrices that are used for anchoring under the water such as mussels or sandcastle worm. For example, it has been recognized that polydopamine was crucial in the attachment of mussels to surfaces and sandcastle worm uses tiny amounts of a special protein which sets under cold seawater in seconds to glue together the sand grains.

This project will adapt these designs to develop new adhesives that can work underwater. The students will have opportunity to use chemistry tools and mechanical and biological testing to develop and evaluate the performance of the new adhesives.

Research activities

The students will have opportunity to use chemistry tools and mechanical and biological testing to develop and evaluate the performance of the new adhesives.

Expected activities:

  • Synthesis of biomaterials (polymers, inorganics, nanoparticles)
  • Mechanical testing
  • Imaging (SEM, TEM)
  • Biological testing (cell culture)

Outcomes

  • Rationale design of the materials
  • Synthesis of selected candidate materials
  • Characterization of the materials

Skills and experience

Ideal candidates should have wet-lab experience, foundation of chemistry or material science or physics.

Scholarships

You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round

Keywords

Contact

Contact the supervisor for more information at phong.tran@qut.edu.au.