Research

The Composto Research Group is involved in polymer science and biomolecular engineering research. Broadly, our research uses polymer physics and chemistry principles to engineer interfaces, thermodynamics and dynamics of hybrid systems.  Assembly-structure-property relationships in soft matter are an underlying research theme.  By understanding the thermodynamic and kinetic behavior of soft matter, advanced materials are created by controlling surface segregation, phase separation, dispersion/aggregation of nanoparticles and molecular/particle transport. Biomolecular and cellular studies investigate stimuli responsive bilayer brushes, cellular adhesion and spreading, cell nanomechanics, molecular motors and molecular attachment on patterned surfaces. Applications range from tuning optical properties to antimicrobial coatings.  Advanced characterization tools include ion scattering, neutron scattering and reflectivity, as well as atomic force microscopy combined with nanoscale imaging if cells.