Understanding how proteins adsorb to inorganic surfaces is important for the development of several areas. This includes the design of new medical implants, antifouling materials and composite materials. Many studies have been carried out in order to examine how proteins interact with inorganic entities or surfaces; still, it is not clear how proteins “sense” the inorganic surface. The research in the lab focuses on the fundamental rules that govern protein adsorption. Our approach includes the use of single molecule force spectroscopy with AFM.

Based on our knowledge from single molecule experiments, we designed a short peptide (tripeptide) that can spontaneously form a coating that resists biofilm formation. Our results clearly demonstrate the formation of a coating on various surfaces (glass, titanium, silicon oxide, metals and polymers). In addition, we showed that this coating prevents the first step of antifouling, which involves the adsorption of bioorganic molecules to the substrate. Moreover, the coating significantly reduced the attachment of various organisms such as bacteria and fungi to surfaces.