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David Castner

David Castner


David Castner

Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering


Office: MolES Institute, Room 225
Phone: 206-543-8094
Fax: 206-543-3778


  • B.S., Oregon State University, 1975.
  • Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley), 1979.

Research Interests 

  • Biomedical Surface Analysis
  • Surface Characterization and Modification
  • Biomaterials
The surface region of a biomaterial is the interface between that material and the biological environment. Thus, the surface structure and composition of a biomaterial mediates the biological reactions that occur when biomaterials are placed into the body. Our research is directed at obtaining detailed information about the surface composition and structure of biomaterials and the interaction of biomolecules with those biomaterials. Recent advances in biochemistry and biomaterials have made it possible to control chemistry on a local scale undreamed of only a few years ago. The dimensions of the lateral chemical variations are diminishing, the complexity of the molecules being introduced at the surface is increasing, and the manipulations of the surface moieties become ever more sophisticated. These advances offer great challenges and opportunities for biomedical surface analysis.
Experimental methods we use in our research include x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, also known as ESCA), static time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), scanning force microscopy (SFM), near edge x-ray adsorption spectroscopy (NEXAFS), sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Current research projects include the characterization of model biomaterial systems (self-assembled monolayers, peptides, ordered proteins, etc.), the development of chemical state imaging methods, and characterization of immobilized proteins. The objective of these research projects is to improve our understanding of the relationship between the surface properties of a biomaterial and the biological reactions occurring on that material by determining, in detail, the composition, structure, spatial distribution, and orientation of surface species.
Our research is an integral part of the National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems (NESAC/BIO), an NIH-funded instrumentation center directed by Prof. Castner. NESAC/BIO is dedicated to ensuring that biomedical researchers have the tools to obtain the maximum benefit from the information-rich spectra and images produced by state-of-the-art surface analysis instrumentation, experimental protocols, and data analysis methods. In addition to our basic research projects at NESAC/BIO, we also work with leading biomedical researchers across the country and around the world through NESAC/BIO collaborative research projects. 

Recent Publications

  • “Stabilization of Dry Protein Coatings with Compatible Solutes,” M.S. Killian, A.J. Taylor and D.G. Castner, Biointerphases, 13, 06E401, 2018.
  • “Surface Analysis: From Single Crystals to Biomaterials,” D.G. Castner, Surface and Interface Analysis, 50, 981-990, 2018.
  • “Nonlinear Optical Methods for Characterization of Molecular Structure and Surface Chemistry,” P.K. Johansson, L. Schmüser and D.G. Castner, Topics in Catalysis, 61, 1101-1124, 2018.
  • “Biomedical Surface Analysis: Evolution and Future Directions,” D.G. Castner, Biointerphases, 12, paper 02C301, 2017.
  • “Predicting the Orientation of Protein G B1 on Hydrophobic Surfaces using Monte Carlo Simulations,” E.T. Harrison, T. Weidner, D.G. Castner and G. Interlandi, Biointerphases, 12, paper 2D401, 2017.
  • “ToF-SIMS and XPS Characterization of Protein Films Adsorbed onto Bare and Sodium Styrene Sulfonate Grafted Gold Substrates,” R.N. Foster, E.T. Harrison and D.G. Castner, Langmuir, 32, 3207-3216, 2016.
  • “Quantifying the Impact of Nanoparticle Coatings and Non-uniformities on XPS Analysis:  Gold/silver Core-shell Nanoparticles,” Y.-C. Wang, M.H. Engelhard, D.R. Baer and D.G. Castner, Analytical Chemistry, 88, 3917-3925, 2016.
  • “Differential Surface Activation of the A1 Domain of von Willebrand Factor,” E.H. Tronic, O. Yakovenko, T. Weidner, J.E. Baio, R. Penkala, D.G. Castner and W.E. Thomas, Biointerphases, 11, paper 029803 (9 pages), 2016.
  • “A Technique for Calculation of Shell Thicknesses for Core-Shell-Shell Nanoparticles from XPS Data,” D.J.H. Cant, Y.-C. Wang, D.G. Castner and A.G. Shard, Surface and Interface Analysis, 48, 274-282, 2016.
  • “Experimental Design and Analysis of ARGET-ATRP Experimental Conditions for Grafting Sodium Styrene Sulfonate from Titanium Substrates,” R.N. Foster, P.K. Johansson, N. Tom, P. Koelsch and D.G. Castner, Journal Vacuum Science and Technology A, 33, paper 05E131 (11 pages), 2015.
  • “Reconstructing Accurate ToF-SIMS Depth Profiles for Organic Materials with Differential Sputter Rates,” A.J. Taylor, D.J. Graham and D.G. Castner, Analyst, 140, 6005-6014, 2015.
  • “Evaluating the Internal Structure of Core-Shell Nanoparticles Using X-ray Photoelectron Intensities and Simulated Spectra,” M. Chudzicki, W.S.M. Werner, A.G. Shard, Y.-C. Wang, D.G. Castner and C.J. Powell, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 119, 17687-17696, 2015.