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Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
My research lies at the intersection of surface and colloid science, polymer materials engineering, and biointerface science, with four central areas of focus:
1. Fabrication, manipulation and characterization of stimulus-responsive biomolecular and bio-inspired polymeric nanostructures on surfaces;
2. Nanotechnology of soft-wet materials and hybrid biological/non-biological microdevices;
3. Receptor-ligand interactions relevant to the diagnostics of infectious diseases;
4. Friction of soft-wet materials, specifically the role of glycoproteins on friction in diarthroidal joints.
These four broad lines of inquiry deal with fundamental behaviors of soft-wet materials on surfaces and interfaces. The design and fabrication of these interfaces using "smart" polymeric and biomolecular nanostructures, and the characterization of the resulting structures, are critically important for the development of biomolecular sensors and devices and for bioinspired materials. Key approaches and tools I use in my research are: bottom-up organization on the molecular scale, through self-assembly, in-situ polymerization, and manipulation of intermolecular interactions; topdown fabrication, through scanning probe nanolithography; stimulus-responsive polymers; molecular recognition; and new approaches to sensing and manipulation. This research supports Duke's Pratt School of Engineering strategic initiative to expand research in soft-wet Materials Science.
Appointments and Affiliations
- Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
- Associate Chair in Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
- Bass Fellow
- Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
- Office Location: 3385 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
- Office Phone: (919) 660-5360
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ph.D. University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1999
- M.S. Oregon State University, 1992
Nano-mechanical and nano-tribological characterization (elasticity, friction, adhesion) of materials including organic thin films; self-assembled monolayers, polymeric gels, and cellulosics; Fabrication of polymeric nanostructures by scanning probe lithography; Colloidal probe and atomic force microscopy; Single molecule force spectroscopy applied to ligand-receptor binding; Biomolecular nano- and micro-sensors
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
- Fellow. American Vacuum Society (AVS). 2020
- Dean of the Graduate School Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education. Duke University. 2016
- Chair. 5th Gordon Research Conference in Biointerface Science. 2014
- Marion and Capers McDonald Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research. Duke University, Pratt School of Engineering. 2012
- ICCES Young Investigator Award. International Center for Computational Engineering Sciences. 2008
- Bronze Award for Scientific Achievement. 26th Army Science Conference, U.S. Army Research. 2008
- Young Investigator Award. American Academy of Nanomedicine. 2005
- Early CAREER Award. National Science Foundation. 2003
- Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2003
- Faculty Enhancement Award. Oak Ridge Associated Universities. 2001
- BME 529: Properties and Characterization of Polymeric Materials
- ME 221L: Structure and Properties of Solids
- ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
- ME 490: Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
- ME 514: Properties and Characterization of Polymeric Materials
- ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
- ME 758S: Curricular Practical Training
- MSEG 591: Independent Study
In the News
- Measuring the Lightest Touch Your Body Responds To (Feb 28, 2023 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- QATCH (Feb 1, 2021 | Duke Engineering Entrepreneurship)
- Energy Initiative Provides First Round of Research Seed Funding (Apr 16, 2014 | Duke Today)
- Bekir, M; Brückner, C; Zauscher, S; Gradzielski, M, Polyelectrolyte brushes affect the adsorption kinetics of nanoparticles onto lipid membranes, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, vol 677 (2023) [10.1016/j.colsurfa.2023.132354] [abs].
- Gonzales, G; Zauscher, S; Varghese, S, Progress in the design and synthesis of viscosupplements for articular joint lubrication, Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, vol 66 (2023) [10.1016/j.cocis.2023.101708] [abs].
- Young, MN; Sindoni, MJ; Lewis, AH; Zauscher, S; Grandl, J, The energetics of rapid cellular mechanotransduction., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol 120 no. 8 (2023) [10.1073/pnas.2215747120] [abs].
- Simon, M; Prause, A; Zauscher, S; Gradzielski, M, Self-Assembled Single-Stranded DNA Nano-Networks in Solution and at Surfaces., Biomacromolecules, vol 23 no. 3 (2022), pp. 1242-1250 [10.1021/acs.biomac.1c01493] [abs].
- Gilpin, A; Zeng, Y; Hoque, J; Ryu, JH; Yang, Y; Zauscher, S; Eward, W; Varghese, S, Self-Healing of Hyaluronic Acid to Improve In Vivo Retention and Function., Adv Healthc Mater, vol 10 no. 23 (2021) [10.1002/adhm.202100777] [abs].