Hengye Jing, University of Cincinnati environmental engineering doctoral student, presented his studies on the interaction between engineered nanoparticles (NPs) and biofilm. Biofilm is a group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other on a surface and these cells are usually embedded within a self-produced cluster of extracellular polymeric substance (or EPS—often referred to as slime). He presented research at the American Chemical Society conference Sept. 8-12.
Biofilm formation can be life threatening as these formations can lead to implant-associated infections in surgical sites or cause corrosion in water distribution systems. Many NP-coating applications have been created to prevent biofilm formation but their long-term health hazards are yet unknown. Jing is working in this novel research area to better understand the toxicity of the NPs and to evaluate their implication on human health and the environment.
Jing reflects, “I chose to study environmental engineering because, as a child, I simply couldn’t imagine if there was no clean water on earth one day. I appreciated the connection UC had with the Environmental Protection Agency, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, etc. and so I made UC the next stop of my life—a decision I’m always proud of.”
Jing grew up in Shanghai, China where he earned his bachelor’s degree from Fudan University. Upon graduation, he hopes to become a consulting engineer back in his hometown.