ASPE 2021 Spring Topical Meeting
Sharklet Bioinspired Surfaces: Melding Nano-Micro for Green Antifouling Surfaces
By Anthony B. Brennan, PhD, FNAI
Sharklet® is a bioinspired, micropattern that can be added to or built directly into materials. The micropattern design facilitates control of bioadhesion to surfaces. It can be fabricated to induce non-wetting character of certain materials in a such a way that the attachment, growth and migration of microbes, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, are inhibited. The pattern dimensions can be expanded substantially to enhance the attachment of human cells to enhance tissue growth. The Sharklet micropattern is comprised of a plurality of features, projecting from or into the surface, each of which has a dimension of at least 1 mm and is distinctly different from its neighboring feature with average spacing from 0.5 to 100 mm. It is the unique combinations of the feature geometries, dimensions, spacing, aspect ratio and materials that enable the creation of a unique class of non-fouling devices along side enhanced fouling devices. A brief history of the discovery of the Sharklet pattern, a thermodynamic model that both explains and predicts bioadhesion will be presented along with numerous examples of engineering challenges met and improved upon to enable the manufacture of products as simple as a yoga mat to the more complex Foley urinary catheter.
Anthony B. Brennan, PhD, FNAI
Anthony B. Brennan retired, on August 15, 2019 from the University of Florida as the Margaret A. Ross Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor. Dr. Brennan, received a BA degree in Chemistry from Potsdam College, a MS degree in Chemistry from R.I.T. and a PhD in Materials Engineering Science from Virginia Tech. He was awarded an Honorary DSc from the State University of New York and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He holds numerous other distinctions for his teaching, research and service at the University of Florida. Dr. Brennan is currently the Honorary Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Sharklet Technologies, Inc. a startup that he co-founded using results from his research at the UF that was funded by the Office of Naval Research. Dr. Brennan has mentored 35 PhD students, 33 who have graduated, over 50 MS students, over 100 undergraduate students, numerous post-doctoral fellows and many high school students. His last two PhD students will graduate in 2021. Dr. Brennan and his group have published over 200 articles, proceedings, and abstracts. He is inventor/co-inventor on over 150 US and International patents. Current research interests continue in the development of materials that can be used to “control” or more reasonably direct bioadhesion for specific functions. Dr. Brennan is also enjoying his retirement with his wife Kathy in Gainesville, FL and Ellijay, GA. They have three children, two grandchildren and two Cavachons.