Upcoming Colloquia

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Soft-matter mechanics of biofilm infections: What is the impact on resistance to the immune system? by Vernita Gordon

Apr 26, 2018, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM

Room: 202/204 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Lisa Manning/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

Biofilms are aggregates of microbes that are bound together by a matrix of polymer and proteins.  Biofilms produce chronic, sometimes decades-long, infections that resist clearance by the immune system.  Biofilms are viscoelastic solids, with resistance to deformation that is roughly comparable to the mechanical forces exerted by phagocytosing immune cells.  We have recently shown that in vivo evolution of chronic infections promotes mechanical toughness and stiffness (2017 npj Biofilms and Microbiomes).  Now, we present ongoing work examining how the mechanics of a soft, viscoelastic target impacts the ability of immune cells to break up and clear that target - this topic has not been studied before, so we have developed new experiments to measure this, using human neutrophils.  We also are also examining approaches to disrupting biofilm mechanics, with a view toward developing treatments that make biofilm infections more amenable to clearance by the immune system.

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TBD by Dr. Josh Smith

May 3, 2018, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM

Room: 202/204 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof.Duncan Brown/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960