Date of Graduation

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor/Mentor

Churchill, Hugh

Committee Member/Reader

Nair, Arun

Committee Member/Second Reader

Wang, Yong

Committee Member/Third Reader

Wheeler, Jill

Abstract

Infections associated with biofilm growth are usually challenging to eradicate due to their high tolerance toward antibiotics [11, 12]. Biofilms often form on the inert surfaces of medically implanted devices [13]. No matter the sophistication, microbial infections can develop on all medical devices and tissue engineering constructs [12]. Related infections lead to 2 million cases annually in the U.S., costing the healthcare system over $5 billion in additional healthcare expenses [12].

Novel solutions to biofilm’s microbial colonization span the spectrum of engineering and science disciplines. Yet a practical solution still does not exist. The research presented here will explore a new novel solution combining the disciplines of electrical engineering, materials science, and biophysics.

The goal of this thesis is to determine if enough energy is available in a 2.4 GHz signal to create a lethal environment for biofilm adhered to a grid of silver nanowires. As with any new experiment in science, several iterations are required in the experimental method to achieve ideal results. The final iteration presented in this paper was unable to measure the induced voltage in silver accurately, but out of this failure rose a success, a repeatable way to measure RF absorbing materials in the open air. This led to consistent RF data for agarose gel, a material that simulates the properties of human tissue. Methods to improve the experimental method for RF reflecting materials are also presented.

Keywords

Biofilm, agarose absorption, rf

Available for download on Monday, April 25, 2022

Share

COinS