Maria M. Santore

Professor of Polymer Science & Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts

Santore Lab Website

Ph.D.: Princeton University
Postdoctoral Training: Polymer Division, National Institute of Standards & Technology

Interfacial Polymer Physics, Dynamics, and Colloidal Phenomena

Reversible physical bonds, each comprising a few kT in energy, endow a material with intrinsic dynamic versatility.  It is only through restructuring, afforded by reversible interactions, that materials can respond to stimuli and communicate with their environments. This is most evident in living systems, which constantly adapt to and manipulate their surroundings; however, dynamic responsiveness is also key to smart materials, drug delivery systems, and sensing elements.  Research in the Santore lab focuses on how forces and dynamics at the molecular and nanometer levels drive behavior at the micron scale of colloidal particles and bacteria, the 10-micron scale of cells, and larger observable length scales. We exploit principles of colloid chemistry and interfacial polymer physics to develop new materials with clever behaviors, taking inspiration from Nature: White blood cells exhibit precise rolling motion signatures on blood vessel walls in response to injury; Metastatic cancer cells prefer to invade some organs but not others; The immune system remembers diseases (and vaccines) of the parent animal for decades, engaging in highly targeted attack of invasive organisms, yet not attacking other cells of the parent animal. Students in the Santore lab create materials that exploit the underlying biophysical principles at work in these and other examples to produce new platforms for drug delivery, sensors, and biomaterials for implants, diagnostics and cell processing (tissue engineering).  Current areas of activity within the lab include:

  • surface design - creating surfaces that mimic the landscape of biological cells
  • adhesion and bioadhesion dynamics – studying dynamic interactions, including the motion signatures of rolling, slipping, arrest, and dislodging of flowing particles, bacteria, and cells
  • biomimetic and biological membrances – developing polymer- and phospholipid-based vesicles with engineered adhesive functionality and the capacity to phase separate.
  • Click for more information on Materials-Immunology Interface.

Schematic of particles flowing over a surface containing synthetic adhesion molecules. In experiments, particles include Staphylococcus bacteria and micron-scale silica spheres.

Representative publications:

Interaction of Cationic Proteins and Polypeptides with Biocompatible Cationically-Anchored PEG Brushes" S. Gon, B. Fang, and M.M. Santore*, Macromolecules, 44, 8161-8168 (2011).

"Depletion versus Deflection: How Membrane Bending Can Influence Adhesion" J. nam and M.M. Santore*, Physical Review Letters, 107, 078101 (2011).

"Bacterial Adhesion on Hybrid Cationic Nanoparticle-Polymer Brush Surfaces: Ionic Strength Tunes Capture from Monovalent to Multivalent Binding" B. Fang, S. Gon, M. Park, K.-N. Kumar, V.M. Rotello, K. Nusslein, and M.M. Santore*, Colloids and Surfaces B: BioInterfaces, 87, 109-115 (2011).

"Single Component and Selective Competitive Protein Adsorption in a Patchy Polymer Brush: Opposition between Steric Repulsions and Electrostatic Attractions " S. Gon and  M.M. Santore*, Langmuir, 27, 1487-1493. (2011).

"Particle Capture via Discrete Binding Elements: Systematic Variations in Binding Energy for Randomly Distributed Nanoscale Surface Features" S. Kalasin, S. Martwiset, E.B. Coughlin, and M.M. Santore*, Langmuir, 26, 16865-16870 (2010).

"Manipulating Protein Adsorption Using a Patchy Protein-Resistant Brush" S. Gon, M. Bendersky, J.L. Ross, and M.M. Santore*, Langmuir, 26, 12147-12154 (2010).

The Role of Nano-Scale Heterogeneous Electrostatic Interactions in Initial Bacterial Adhesion from Flow: A Case Study with Staphylococcus aureas" S. Kalasin, J. Dabkowski, K. Nusslein, and M.M. Santore*, Colloids and Surfaces B: BioInterfaces, 76, 489-495 (2010).

Sustained Rolling of Microparticles in Shear Flow over an Electrostatically Patchy Surface” S. Kalasin and M.M. Santore,* Langmuir, 26, 2317-2324 (2010).

"Non-Specific Adhesion on Biomaterial Surfaces Driven by Small Amounts of Protein Adsorption" S. Kalasin and  M.M. Santore*, Colloids and Surfaces B:  Biointerfaces, 73, 229-236 (2009).

"The Impact of Nanoscale Chemical Features on Micron-Scale Adhesion:  Crossover from Heterogeneity-Dominated to Mean Field Behavior" R. Duffadar, S. Kalasin, J.M. Davis, and  M.M. Santore*, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 337, 396-407 (2009) .

Invited Feature Article and Cover Kicking off Langmuir’s 25th Year:  "Beyond Molecular Recognition: Tuning Interfacial Valency for Micron-Scale Specificity between Adhesive Surfaces" M.M. Santore*, J. Zhang, S. Srivastava, and V.M. Rotello, Langmuir, 25, 84-96 (2009).

"Competitive Co-Adsorption Dynamics in Surfactant-Copolymer Formulations" P. B.-Y. Ofir, B. Zdyrko, and  M.M. Santore*, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 48, 2387-2394 (2009).

"Manipulating Microparticles with Single Surface-Immobilized Nanoparticles" J. Zhang, S. Srivastava, R. Duffadar, J.M. Davis, V.M. Rotello, and  M.M. Santore*, Langmuir, 24, 6404-6408 (2008). 

"Adsorption of Copolymer Micelles and Aggregates: From Kinetics to Adsorbed Layer Structure" B. Zdyrko. P. B.-Y. Ofir, A.M. Alb, W.F. Reed, and  M.M. Santore*, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 322, 365-374 (2008).

"Hydrodynamic Crossover in Dynamic Microparticle Adhesion on Surfaces of Controlled Nanoscale Heterogeneity" S. Kalasin and M.M. Santore*, Langmuir, 24, 4435-4438 (2008).

"The Adhesion Kinetics of Sticky Vesicles in Tension:  The Distinction between Spreading and Receptor Binding" J. Nam and  M.M. Santore,* Langmuir, 23, 10650-10660 (2007).

"Adhesion Plaque Formation Dynamics between Polymer Vesicles in the Limit of Highly Concentrated Binding Sites" J. Nam and  M.M. Santore,* Langmuir, 23, 7216-7224 (2007).

"Micrometer Scale Adhesion on Nanometer-Scale Patchy Surfaces:  Adhesion Rates, Adhesion Thresholds, and Curvature-Based Selectivity" N. Kozlova and M.M. Santore,* Langmuir, 23, 4782-4791 (2007).

"Fibrinogen Adsorption on Three Silica-based Surfaces:  Conformation and Kinetics"  A. Toscano, and M.M. Santore*, Langmuir. 22, 2588-2597  (2006).

"Micron-Scale Adhesion Dynamics Mediated by Nanometer-Scale Surface Features" N. Kozlova and M. Santore,* Langmuir, 22(3), 1135-1142 (2006).

"Dynamics in Adsorbed Homopolymer Layers:  Understanding Complexity  from Simple Starting Points" M.M. Santore*, Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science, 10, 176-183 (2005).

"Protein Spreading Kinetics at Liquid-Solid Interfaces  via an Adsorption Probe Method"  M.M. Santore*, and C.F. Wertz , Langmuir  21,10172-10178 (2005).

"Polyelectrolyte Desorption and Exchange Dynamics  near the Sharp Adsorption Cut-off " N. Hansupalak. and  M. Santore*, Macromolecules 37(4), 1621-1629 (2004)

"Sharp Polyelectrolyte Adsorption Cut-off Induced by Monovalent Salt " N. Hansupalak. and  M. Santore*, Langmuir 19, 7423-7426  (2003).

"The Influence of Charge Density and Coverage on Bound Fraction for a Weakly Cationic Polyelctrolyte Adsorbing on Silica" Y. Shin, J.E. Roberts. and  M. Santore*, Macromolecules 35, 4090-4095 (2002).

"Water Uptake Kinetics in PMMA Films Using a Fluorescent Rotor Probe" J.P. Goodelle, R.A. Pearson, and M. Santore*, J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 86, 2463-2471 (2002).

"The Effect of Surfactant on Unilamellar Polymeric Vesicles:  Altered Membrane Properties and Stability in the Limit of Weak Surfactant Partitioning" M. Santore*, D.E. Discher , Y.Y. Won, F.S. Bates, D.A. Hammer, Langmuir, 18, 7299-7308 (2002).

"Adsorption and Reorientation of Lysozyme  on Hydrophobic Surfaces" C. Wertz and M. Santore, Langmuir  18, 1190-1199 (2002).

"Dynamics in Adsorbed Layers of Associative Polymers in the Limit of Strong Backbone-Surface Interactions" Y. Huang and M. Santore*, Langmuir 18, 2158-2165 (2002).

"Fibrinogen Adsorption on Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Surfaces:  Geometrical and Energetic Aspects of Interfacial Relaxations " C. Wertz and M. Santore*, Langmuir, 18, 706-715 (2002).

"The Relationship between Polymer / Substrate Charge Density and Charge Overcompensation by Adsorbed Polyelectrolyte Layers" Y. Shin, J.E. Roberts, and M. Santore*, J. Colloid Interface Science, 247, 220-230 (2002).

"From Membranes to Melts, Rouse to Reptation: Diffusion in Polymersome versus Lipid Bilayer" C.M. Lee, M. Santore, F. Bates, and D. Discher, Macromolecules  35, 323-326 (2002).

"The Influence of Charge Variation on the Adsorbed Configuration of a Model Cationic Oligomer onto Colloidal Silica" Y. Shin, J.E. Roberts and M. Santore*, J. Colloid Interface Science  244, 190-199 (2001).

The Energy Barrier to Self Exchange between PEO Adsorbed on Silica and in Solution”  E. Mubarekyan and M. Santore, Macromolecules  34,  7504-7513 (2001).

Effect of Surface Hydrophobicity on Adsorption and Relaxation Kinetics of Albumin and Fibrinogen:  Single Species and Competitive Behavior" C. Wertz and M. Santore, Langmuir 17, 3006-3016 (2001)

Influence of Molecular Weight and Layer Age on Self Exchange Kinetics for Saturated Layers of PEO in a Good Solvent”  E. Mubarekyan and M. Santore, Macromolecules  34, 4978-4986 (2001).

“Diffusion Limited Adsorption Kinetics of Polymer Layers Adsorbed at the Solid-Liquid Interface,” in Encyclopedia of Surface and Colloid Science, A. Hubbard  and P. Somasundaran, eds.; Marcel Dekker  Inc., NY. (2002), pp 1458-70.

“Dynamics in Adsorbed Polymer Layers,”  M. Santore, Z. Fu, and E. Mubarekyan in “Associative Polymers in Aqueous Solutions,” ed. J.E. Glass, ACS Symp. Ser. 765, 206-220, 2000.

"Adsorption and Exchange Dynamics in Hydroxyethylcellulose Layers on Silica" E. Mubarekyan, and M. Santore, J. Colloid and Interface Sci, 227, 334-344 (2000).

"Adsorption and Relaxation Kinetics of Albumin and Fibrinogen on Hydrophobic Surfaces:  Single-Species and Competitive Behavior" C.F. Wertz, and M. Santore, Langmuir  15, 8884 - 8894 (1999).

“Thermodynamic and Kinetic Aspects in Bridging Flocculation”  M. M. Santore and H.D. Ou-Yang, Chapter 7, p 269-309, in Polymer Interfaces and Emulsions, K. Esumi, ed., Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York. 1999

"The Effect of Layer Age and Interfacial Relaxations on the Self-Exchange Kinetics of Poly(ethylene oxide) Adsorbed on Silica" Z. Fu and M. M. Santore, Macromolecules, 32,  1939-1948 (1999).

"Kinetics of Competitive Adsorption of PEO chains with Different Molecular Weights" Z. Fu and M. M. Santore, Macromolecules, 31, 7014-7022 (1998).

"Competitive Adsorption of PEO Chains with and without Charged End Groups" Z. Fu and M. M. Santore, Langmuir, 14, 4300-4307, (1998).

"The Kinetic Perspective on Polymer Adsorption Energetics" M.M. Santore and Z. Fu, Proceedings of the Adhesion Society, Savannah National Meeting (1998).

"Total Internal Reflectance Fluorescence" M.M. Santore in Colloid-Polymer Interactions:   From Fundamentals to Practice,  Farinato and Dubin, eds.  J. Wiley, New York, 1999, p 365 - 384.

"Diffusion Controlled Phenomena in Adsorbed Polymer Dynamics" M.M. Santore in Colloid-Polymer Interactions: From Fundamentals to Practice,  Farinato and Dubin, eds.  J. Wiley, New York, 1999, p 127 - 146.

"Characterization of Polystyrene Latex Surfaces by the Adsorption of Rhodamine 6G"  E. Mubarekyan, and  M. M. Santore, Langmuir, 14, 1597-1603 (1998).

"Evolution of Layer Density and Thickness during PEO Adsorption on Silica"  Z. Fu, and  M. M. Santore, Langmuir, 13, 5779-81 (1997).

"Direct Measurement of Molecular-Weight Driven Competition during Polymer Adsorption"
M. M. Santore and Z. Fu, Macromolecules  30, 8516 (1997).

"Poly(Ethylene Oxide) Adsorption onto Chemically-Etched Silicates by Brewster Angle Reflectivity"  Z. Fu, M. M. Santore, Colloids and Surfaces A Physchem Eng. Asp,  135, 63-75 (1998).