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Nicholas Peppas

Photo of Peppas, Nicholas

Department Chair & Professor

Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering #6 & Cockrell Family Chair for Departmental Leadership #1

Research Area:
Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering

Phone: (512) 471-6644, (512) 471-7158
Office: CPE 3.466

Related Websites

Research Focus

Polymer physics; Polymerization reaction engineering; Diffusion in polymers; Controlled drug delivery; Biomedical engineering; Biomaterials; Molecular modeling of protein structures in contact with biomaterials and tissues; Modeling of biomedical devices; Bionanotechnology; Molecular recognition processes.


Our research contributions have been in several areas of drug delivery, biomaterials, biomolecular engineering, mass transfer, kinetics and reaction engineering, polymers and biomedical engineering. The multidisciplinary approach of thiis research in biomolecular engineering blends modern molecular and cellular biology with engineering to generate next-generation systems and devices, including bioMEMS with enhanced applicability, reliability, functionality, and longevity. The fundamental studies of his group have provided valuable results on biomaterials design and development.Our group is known for our work on the preparation, characterization and evaluation of the behavior of compatible, cross linked polymers known as hydrogels, which have been used as biocompatible materials and in controlled release devices, especially in controlled delivery of drugs, peptides and proteins, development of novel biomaterials, biomedical transport phenomena, and biointerfacial problems. Our polymer research has examined fundamental aspects of the thermodynamics of polymer networks in contact with penetrants, the conformational changes of networks under load or in the presence of a diluent, the anomalous transport of penetrants in glassy polymers, and the kinetics of fast UV-polymerization reactions. In the field of controlled release, his group has provided the fundamental basis for a rational development of such systems. In addition, this work has led to a series of novel controlled release systems known as swelling controlled release systems, a series of pH-sensitive devices for drug delivery and a wide range of bio- and mucoadhesive systems. Other biomedical work of his group had dealt with understanding of transport of biological compounds in tissues, analysis of polymer/tissue interactions, and understanding of the behavior of biomembranes.

Selected Publications

  • Schoener Cody A., Hutson Heather N., Fletcher Grace K. and Peppas Nicholas A, Amphiphilic Interpenetrating Networks for the Delivery of Hydrophobic, Low Molecular Weight Therapeutic Agents,  Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 50, 12556–12561 (2011).

  • Siepmann Juergen and Peppas Nicholas A,   In honor of Takeru Higuchi,  Int. J. Pharm., 418, 1-2 (2011).

  • Liechty William B, Caldorera-Moore Mary E, Phillips Margaret A,  Schoener Cody and Peppas Nicholas A. Advanced molecular design of biopolymers for transmucosal and intracellular delivery of chemotherapeutic agents and biological therapeutics,  J Controlled Release , 155 ,119-27 (2011).

  • Caldorera-Moore Mary E, Liechty William B, and  Peppas Nicholas A, Responsive theranostic systems: integration of diagnostic imaging agents and responsive controlled release drug delivery carriers,  Accounts Chem. Res.,  44,  1061-70 (2011).

  •  Lao L. Lisa, Peppas Nicholas A, Boey Freddie Y C and Venkatraman Subbu, Modeling of drug release from bulk-degrading polymers,  Intern. J. Pharmac . 418 28-41 (2011).

  • Ekenseair Adam and Peppas Nicholas A, Tuning the dynamics of penetrant transport in glassy polymers through network structure modification, Bull. Amer. Phys. Soc., 56, X42.2 (2011).

  • Siepmann Juergen and Peppas Nicholas A, Higuchi equation: derivation, applications, use and misuse,   Intern. J. Pharmac. 418,   6-12 (2011).

  • VanBlarcom Diana  Snelling and  Peppas Nicholas A, Microcantilever sensing arrays from biodegradable, pH-responsive hydrogels,  Biomed. Microdevices,  13,  829-836 (2011).

  • Bayer Carolyn L, Herrero Perez Edgar and  Peppas Nicholas A, Alginate Films as Macromolecular Imprinted Matrices. J. Biomater. Sci., Polym. Ed.,  22,  1523-1534  (2011).

  • Khurshid Shahana S, Schmidt Christine E and Peppas Nicholas A, Optimization of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers of Serotonin for Biomaterial Applications, J. Biomater. Sci., Polym. Ed.,   22,  343-362  (2011).

  • Kryscio David R, Shi Yue, Ren Pengyu and Peppas Nicholas A, Molecular docking simulations for macromolecularly imprinted polymers, Ind. Eng. Chem Res, 50, 13877-13884 (2011).

  • Peppas Nicholas A, Slaughter Brandon V and Kanzelberger Melissa A, Hydrogels, in Comprehensive Polymer Science,  R. Langer and D. Tirrell, eds, Vol. 9, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-087862, published online.

  • Sant Shilpa, Tao Sarah L, Fisher Omar Z, Xu Qiaobing, Peppas Nicholas A and Khademhosseini Ali, Microfabrication technologies for oral drug delivery, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev., doi:10.1016/j.addr.2011.11.013, published online.

  • Kryscio David R and Peppas Nicholas A, Critical review and perspective of macromolecularly imprinted polymers, Acta Biomaterialia, doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2011.11.005, published online.

  • Ekenseair Adam K and Peppas N A, Network structure and methanol transport dynamics in poly(methyl methacrylate),   AIChE J, doi: 10.1002/aic.12784, published online.

  • Echeverria Coro, Peppas Nicholas A and Mijangos Carmen, Novel strategy for the determination of UCST-like microgels network structure: effect on swelling behavior and rheology, Soft Matter, doi: 10.1039/C1SM06489D, publshed online.

  • Liechty William L and Peppas Nicholas A, Expert opinion: Responsive polymer nanoparticles in cancer therapy, Europ. J. Pharmac. Biopharm., doi:10.1016/j.ejpb.2011.08.004, published online.