Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Zoe Harrison



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Jessica Jennings

Committee Member

Joel D Bumgardner

Committee Member

Daniel L Baker

Committee Member

Tomoko Fujiwara


There is a great clinical need for effective methods to prevent infection following musculoskeletal trauma caused by severe injuries or implantation surgeries. Up to 80% of infections are due to the formation of microbial biofilms, which are difficult to eradicate as they possess mechanisms to evade immune cell clearance and withstand antibiotic treatment. The persistence of biofilms as well as the rise of multi-drug resistant bacterial strains further exemplify the need for non-antibiotic therapeutics to hinder bacterial growth. By incorporating anti-biofilm agents into biomaterials, the incidence of infection will decrease, as will patient trauma and hospitalization costs. The overall research objective of this dissertation is to design biomaterials that mitigate bacterial biofilm in medical applications. This objective is achieved through the development and testing of three unique systems to locally deliver antibiofilm agents: (1) a coating for implanted titanium materials, (2) a superficial biopolymer wound dressing and (3) an intraoperative biopolymer paste. The studies discussed in this dissertation explore characteristics of the designed materials, antimicrobial activity, and/or cellular responses to these materials through in vitro or in vivo testing methods. Through these studies, we determined that each system performed successfully in in vitro biofilm models, in vitro cytocompatibility and immunological response studies, and in an in vivo osteomyelitis model, respectively.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access