SUNY Potsdam alumnus brings his breakthrough microorganism control technology to Potsdam

02.26.09

SUNY Potsdam 1975 alumnus Dr. Anthony Brennan, professor of material science and engineering at the University of Florida and founder of Sharklet Technology, will present an open lecture about his research on Friday, March 6, at noon in SUNY Potsdam’s Stowell Hall, room 211.

Dr. Brennan and his team at the University of Florida have developed a polymetric surface that inhibits bio-adhesion. In layperson’s terms: Bacteria cannot attach to it. His research on polymetric surfaces will one day protect us from bacteria without requiring the use of antibacterial chemicals or drugs. This is big news in a time when fear of “superbugs” and MRSA is spreading.

Dr. Brennan is the founder of Sharklet Technologies and chairman of the company's Scientific Advisory Board. In addition, he discovered and developed Sharklet, the company’s core surface technology.

After studying surfaces in nature that effectively inhibit bacterial growth, like sharkskin, Dr. Brennan decided to chemically replicate them. The result is a sharkskin-like surface called Sharklet. While the nontoxic surface does not kill bacteria, it does stop colonies from attaching to the surface and growing.

Sharklet’s first anticipated use will be on a medical device that comes with a high risk of infection.

The Office of Naval Research was the first to invest in his research in 1999. Many marine organisms, such as algae and barnacles, feed off the bacteria that attach to ships. These organisms can be detrimental to the ocean environment when they are taken from their place of origin into new waters.

The hope is that Dr. Brennan’s Sharklet will inhibit the growth of both the bacteria and the resulting harmful marine organisms. His research has been highlighted on the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

Dr. Brennan is world-renowned as a research scientist and is an endowed professor in the Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Florida. He is widely recognized in surface sciences circles and acclaimed for his work in microorganism control.

As associate director of the Center for Macromolecular Science and Engineering, Professor Brennan has initiated and participated in numerous interdisciplinary research programs with the Colleges of Engineering, Liberal Arts and Sciences and Dentistry.

Within the business community, Dr. Brennan serves as a reviewer of numerous publications and serves as consultant to the medical device industry. He previously held an executive position at Coors Biomedical Company which provided research and manufacturing in bio-ceramics for Johnson & Johnson.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry at SUNY Potsdam, Dr. Brennan went on to earn his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Dr. Brennan’s lecture is free, and the public is invited to attend.