Gaines Research Group
Dr. Gaines’ research is themed around
studying the interfacial properties of soft materials. Our objective is to
measure energy dissipation within thermo-responsive colloidal microgel particle
systems and block copolymer materials, to develop next-generation separators in
lithium-ion batteries and self-actuating biosensors. The Gaines lab
also explores the interfacial chemistry between cells and hydrogels on
biological interfaces, as a means to develop a synthetic 3D culture
microenvironment to control cell behavior. The aim is to gain a sophisticated
understanding on how cells respond to specific controlled variances in the
material properties of the extracellular matrix, to predict strategies to issue
control over cell behavior in physiological systems. Our goals are achieved by
marrying Polymer Synthesis, Materials Science, Cell Biology & Spectroscopy.
Michelle Gaines, Ph.D.
- B.S. Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University, 2003
- Ph.D. Materials Science & Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2008
- Postdoc, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), 2011
- Postdoc, Emory University, 2014
- Postdoc, Georgia Tech, 2017
Department of Chemistry, Science Center, #378
Current Research Projects
AFM Image of Thermo-responsive Microgel Particles
Image of ultra-soft microgel particles on a glass substrate. Color bar indicates particle height.
Fibroblast Cell Clusters, Cultured Within a Suspension of Microgel Particles
Fluorescent microscopy of NIH 3T3 fibroblast clusters, cultured among a suspension of fluorescently labeled microgel particles.
Atomic Force Microscopy
Asylum Research MFP-3D Origin AFM
Light & Fluorescence Microscopy
Zeiss Axio Observer
Torrey Pines HS70 Digital Hotplate & Labconco Freezezone 2.5L Lyophillizer
High Speed Camera
Vision Research Phantom VEO410L High Speed Camera
- Douglas, A.M.; Fragkopoulos, A.; Gaines, M.K.; Lyon, L.A.; Barker, T.H.; and Fernandez-Nieves, A.; “Dynamic Assembly of Ultrasoft Colloidal Networks Enables Cell Invasion Within Nanoporous Fibrillar Polymers,”
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
2017, 114 (5): 885-890.
- Gaines, M.K., Smith, S.D., Samseth, J., Khan, S.A., and Spontak, R.J.,"Nanoparticle Network Formation in Nanostructured and Disordered Block Copolymer Matrices," Nanoscale Res. Lett.
2010 5, 1712-1718.
- Gaines, M. K.; Smith, S.D., Samseth, J.; Bockstaller, M.R.; Thompson, R.B.; Rasmussen, K.O; Spontak, R.J.; Nanoparticle-regulated phase behavior of ordered block copolymers. Soft Matter
2008 4, 1609-1612.
- Gil, E.S.; Frankowski, D.J.;
Bowman, M.K.; Gozen, A.O., Hudson S.M.; and Spontak, R.J.; "Mixed Protein Blends Composed of Gelatin and Bombyx mori Silk Fibroin: Effects of Solvent-Induced Crystallization and Composition,"
Biomacromolecules 2006 7, 728-735.
2018-19 Spelman Undergraduate Research Team
- Patience Mukashyaka (C'18) - Chemistry, Graduate Student at
- Chloe White (C'19) - Chemical Education
Nefatiti Anderson (C'21) & Gabrielle Brim (C'20)
Nefatiti Anderson (C'21) is a Biology major and Gabrielle Brim (C'20) is a Math Dual-Degree major. Both have presented their research on bioconjugating proteins to the surface of Microgels.
Jade Weatherington & Princess Kamuche (C'20)
FAMU Additive Manufacturing Workshop
Jade Weatherington and Princess Kamuche (C'20) pose outside of a FAMU workshop for their NSF CREST Center on Additive Manufacturing. Both are Biochemistry majors, working on bioconjugation and microgel synthesis.
Chloe White (C'19)
Spelman College Research Day, 2018
Chloe White (C'19) presents her research on Microgel Particle Interfacial Chemistry at Research Day at Spelman College, Spring 2018. Chloe was awarded 2nd Prize for the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Poster Composition. Chloe will graduate in Spring 2019 in Chemistry Education. She will go on to pursue a Masters in Education Policy.