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J. Scott VanEpps


Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, & Macromolecular Science and Engineering

Biointerfaces Institute

Associate Director for Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care

University of Michigan

Dr. Van Epps has broad multidisciplinary background in the fields of bio/chemical engineering, molecular biology, and medicine.  He is a board certified Emergency Physician who sees patients within the Michigan Medicine Adult Emergency Department and Emergency Critical Care Center.  Since coming to the University of Michigan, his research interests have focused life-threatening infections with particular emphasis on infections of implanted medical devices and novel technologies to prevent bacterial adhesion, colonization, and infection of these devices.  He has developed and optimized several assays and tools to evaluate bacterial adhesion, characterize new materials, evaluate bacteria response to nanomaterial suspensions and substrates, and evaluate pacification of those materials.  Using these tools, he has developed and determined the mechanism of action of several novel antimicrobial nanomaterials.  In addition, he is actively developing novel assays for rapid, culture-free detection and antibiotic susceptibility of bacteria in whole blood.  His previous projects successfully combined engineering (both analysis and design) with traditional biological experiments to determine the mechanism for location specific atherosclerotic lesion development using in vitro, ex vivo, and large animal models.

Research Interests:

1.         Development of dynamic perfusion/flow/microfluidic experimental systems

2.         Biomechanics of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation/maturation

3.         Intercellular communication within bacterial biofilms

4.         Evaluation of novel nanomaterials for implantable devices

5.         Rapid detection of bacteremia and antibiotic resistance in sepsis

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