Welcome to The Chai Research Group
Biofilms are aggregates of cells that develop on natural and synthetic surfaces and interfaces. The biofilm shields its cells with a network of self-secreted biopolymers, making the biofilm cells significantly less susceptible to antimicrobial treatment relative to single nomadic cells.
The extracellular network, termed the extracellular matrix (ECM), is composed of nucleic acids, proteins and polysaccharides. We study the ECM of the model organism Bacillus subtilis. The major ECM components that we are interested in are the proteins, TasA and TapA, and the polysaccharides, EPS, and Levan. In particular, we focus on the ECM composition, the interactions between the components that govern the ECM formation and structure, and the effect of the ECM biopolymers on biomineralization.
Our research focuses on various aspects of the extracellular matrix: