Kyndall Sirmons is a rising 3rd year student at FAMU. She is currently studying Biology (premed). Kyndall is currently participating in the MOAP program with Dr. Maren Roman as her advisor. Kyndall’s research focused on growing bacterial cellulose, which has many potential applications in the biomedical field.

Bacterial cellulose is an organic material that is produced by several species of bacteria, the most common being Komagataeibacter xylinus. The unique physical structure of bacterial cellulose gives it a greater water holding capacity and higher durability compared to plant cellulose. These properties in turn make bacterial cellulose an ideal candidate for application in the biomedical field. This project produces bacterial cellulose and then chemically modifies the surface of the bacterial cellulose through acetylation. This project seeks to determine the potential of surface-acetylated bacterial cellulose to be used as a material for a new antimicrobial wound dressing.

The bacterial cellulose is grown in Hestrin-Schramm media using petri dishes sized 100x15mm. The bacteria cultures are incubated at 28 degrees Celsius for 7 days. Once grown the cellulose is purified through a series of base and water washes. Then the surface of the pure bacterial cellulose is acetylated. The resulting material is then tested for antimicrobial properties using model non-pathogenic bacteria and for potential cytotoxicity using human skin cells.