This grant will explore the role that bacterial biofilm mechanics play in the quarter of a million medical device infections experienced by Americans each year. Research outcomes, which include: (1) a fundamental understanding of bacterial biofilm mechanics and (2) establishment of improved biocompatibility criteria, will contribute to a reduction in medical device infections. Because new biofilm mechanics knowledge produced by this proposal will inform the ability to control biofilm accumulation and dispersal, the research outcomes will impact many industries beyond medicine including maritime, food, water, oil, paper, and aerospace. Beyond the laboratory, Grady’s team will cultivate a diverse workforce at the intersection of engineering and medicine through a PI-designed initiative, “Newton’s Team.” Newton’s Team will equip mechanics instructors in higher education with new hands-on active learning activities that reduce perceived implementation barriers.
Grady joined the UK College of Engineering faculty in 2016.