Tilton
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Group

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Carnegie Mellon University
Department of Chemical Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Center for Complex Fluids Engineering
Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology
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Professor Robert D. Tilton

Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering
tilton [at] cmu.edu
bob tilton
Bob Tilton has been a member of the Chemical Engineering faculty of Carnegie Mellon University since 1992. In 2004 he accepted a joint appointment in Biomedical Engineering. He completed the B.Ch.E. at the University of Delaware in 1986, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University in 1987 and 1991, respectively. His Ph.D. dissertation was recognized by the 1993 Victor K. LaMer Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Colloid and Surface Chemistry from the American Chemical Society.  He conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Chemistry at The Royal Institute of Technology and Institute for Surface Chemistry in Stockholm, Sweden.  He received the NSF Career Award in 1996.

He currently serves as Director of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Complex Fluids Engineering.  His research focuses on the nanometer-scale forces and structures that govern the macroscopic performance properties of complex fluids and colloidal systems. This theme links fundamental work, for example on mechanisms of complexation and co-adsorption of polymers and surfactants, to more applied work, for example on the development of nanoparticles engineered for use as high-efficiency emulsifiers and surfactant systems for enhanced pulmonary drug delivery.

He has served as a regular member of the National Institutes of Health Nanotechnology Study Section and as Scientific Advisor to CODIRECT, the Institute Excellence Centre for Controlled Release and Delivery at the Institute for Surface Chemistry. He has held several leadership positions in the American Chemical Society Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, including service as the Victor K. LaMer Award Committee Chair, Symposium Committee Chair, Division Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, Chair and Councilor. He co-chaired the 75th ACS Colloid and Surface Science Symposium at Carnegie Mellon in 2001 and was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2010. He was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers in 2013.


Current Members


Gunnar Duner, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Doherty Hall 2208
gduner[at]andrew.cmu.edu

gunnar duner
Education History

2009-2012Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry, specialized in Surface Chemistry, KTH - Royal Intitute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
2006-2009Licentiate of Engineering in Chemistry, specialzed in Organic Chemistry, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
2001-2005Master of Science in Molecular Biotechnology Engineering, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Work History

2005-2009Surface Chemist, Attana AB, Stockholm, Sweden.

Research Interests

Adsorption and Interfacial Transport of ZPT Microparticles
We hypothesize that fluid interfaces that arise during anti-dandruff shampoo application and rinsing, including sebum/water (Se/W), air/water (A/W), or perhaps even the sebum/air (Se/A) interface exposed during drying, provide pathways for zinc pyrithione (ZPT) particle transport along the scalp and to the infundibulum, driven by interfacial tension gradients. The gradient may be established by gradients of surfactant and/or polyelectrolyte surface concentration, or even from gradients in the surface concentration of poly(napththalene sulfonate)-stabilized ZPT microparticles (PNS-ZPT) themselves or of complexes formed by PNS-ZPT with polyelectrolyte-surfactant coacervates.


John K. Riley

Ph.D., expected 2016
Doherty Hall 2208
jkriley[at]andrew.cmu.edu


john riley



Education History

2011-PresentDoctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2007-2011Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, University of Dayton

Work History

May 2008 - May 2011Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH..
May 2008 - Jan 2011Intern Chemist, Nanostructured and Biological Materials Branch, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, WPAFB, Dayton OH.

Research Interests

Nanotribology and Surface Forces between Adsorbed Layers of Spherical Polymer Brushes
We are interested in developing nanoparticles grafted with an outer polymer brush layer as boundary lubrication agents. Surface initiated atom transfer radical polymerization is used to synthesize particles such as nonionic polystyrene (core) - polyethylene oxide (shell) and stimuli responsive silica (core) - poly dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (shell). We utilize optical, acoustic, and scanning probe techniques to characterize the structure and organization of these particles at the solid/liquid interface. These observations are then used to engineer surfaces which aim to minimize or control friction on the microscale, which is measured using colloidal probe atomic force microscopy and macroscopic ball-on-disk tribometry.

Ramankur Sharma (co-advised, T. Pryzbycien, S. Garoff)

Ph.D., expected 2016
Wean Hall 7332
ramankur[at]andrew.cmu.edu

ramankur sharma





Education History

2012 - PresentDoctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2010 - 2011Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2004 - 2008Bachelors in Chemical Engineering, Bharati Bidyapeeth University

Work History

Apr 2012 - Jun 2012Intern; Assistant Engineer, Advanced R&D, Home Appliance Division, Samsung Electronics Co., Suwon, South Korea.
Oct 2008 - Jun 2010Assistant Systems Engineer, Tata Consultancy Services, Gurgaon, India.


Research Interests

Marangoni Driven Spreading on Entangled Aqueous Polymer Solutions with Applications to Pulmonary Drug Delivery
Wetting and spreading of surfactant solutions on solid/liquid surfaces is important in many technologies such as spray coating, ink jet printing etc. Our research is focused on improving aerosol drug delivery in lungs by adding surfactant to aerosol formulations. Currently aerosols (fine droplets of liquid suspended in air) carrying drug are used to treat various chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.  However, obstructions in the lung airways and other consequences of these diseases cause the inhaled aerosol to deposit non-uniformly in the lungs, hence decreasing the efficacy of the drug. We are exploring how to incorporate surfactant into the drug formulation so that the created surface tension gradients can drive the aerosol drop further along the airway surface liquid, after deposition.

Alex Bertuccio

Ph.D., expected 2018
Doherty Hall 2208
abertucc[at]andrew.cmu.edu

alex bertuccio
Education History

2013 - PresentDoctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2011 - 2012Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, Manhattan College
2008 - 2011Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Manhattan College

Work History

Aug 2012 - May 2013Adjunct Instructor, Manhattan College, Bronx, NY.
Aug 2011 - May 2012Teaching Assistant, Manhattan College, Bronx, NY.

Research Interests

Nanoparticle Adhesion to Biopolymer Matrices

Silver nanoparticles are known to be an effective antimicrobial agent and have been used as a means of water remediation. However, it is unclear where these nanoparticles accumulate as well as the impact that they have on the biological structures in the environment. It has been previously observed that microbes have a preference for growing on surfaces coated by silver nanoparticles when compared to a non-coated surface. We are currently investigating if microbial growth is selective to the type of coated surface or if any coating promotes growth.

Brittany Nordmark (co-advised, T. Pryzbycien)

Ph.D., expected 2018
Doherty Hall 2208
[at]andrew.cmu.edu

brittany nordmark
Education History

2013 - PresentDoctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2009 - 2013Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Work History

May 2012 - Aug 2012Environmental Health and Safety Intern. GE Aviation/Middle River Aircraft Systems, Middle River, MD.
May 2008 - Aug 2010Laboratory Assistant Intern, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Edgewood, MD.

Research Interests

Immobilization of Moringa oleifera protein for sustainable water disinfection systems.
We are interested in studying the adsorption mechanism of Moringa oleifera cationic protein (MOCP) to silica and sand surfaces for water treatment purposes. MOCP acts as an antimicrobial in water treatment; however, Moringa oleifera seeds release organic matter that promotes the growth of microbes. Once the adsorption mechanism of MOCP is understood, we will move to studying methods of immobilizing the protein that will minimize excess organic matter release. Ellipsometry is used to determine adsorption kinetics and extension of adsorption of MOCP.

Yun-Ru Huang

Ph.D., expected 2018
Doherty Hall 1202
yunruh[at]andrew.cmu.edu

yunru


Education History

2014 - Present
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2011 - 2013
Master of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
2007 - 2011Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University

Work History
Sep 2012 - Jun 2014Research Assistant, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania.
Jun 2012 - Aug 2012
Intern, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Taiwan.


Research Interests

Polymer Brush-Grafted Nanoparticle Emulsifiers
Nanoparticles grafted with polymers have proven to be highly efficient emulsifiers and can be used to stabilize a large interfacial area with very low particle concentrations at the oil/water interface compared to conventional particulate emulsifiers.  However, the reason why particles with different physico-chemical properties produce emulsions with similar stability yet display different efficiencies is unclear.  We are studying the surface pressure and dilatational elastic modulus using silicon nanoparticles grafted with PDMAEMA brushes and investigating the fundamental interfacial phenomena responsible for this emulsifying efficiency.

Steven Iasella (co-advised, T. Pryzbycien, S. Garoff)

Ph.D., expected 2019
Wean Hall 7332
siasella[at]andrew.cmu.edu

siasellapic
Education History

2014 - PresentDoctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2007 - 2011Bachelor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Research Interests

Hydrophobic vs. Hydrophilic Spreading on Entangled Polymer Solutions
Past research in our group has focused on using Marangoni driven spreading to move various chemicals across the surfaces of entangled polymeric solutions. This phenomenon can potentially be used to move drugs past mucous blockages common to various types of lung disease. Most of the work done so far has been using hydrophilic substances, but many pharmaceuticals are hydrophobic. The spreading of hydrophobic substances is quite different from hydrophilic substances and our research will explore these differences in order to better understand how surface tension driven flows move drugs across surfaces.

Danish Iqbal

Ph.D., expected 2020

diqbal[at]andrew.cmu.edu

Danish Iqbal

Education History

2011 – 2015

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Southern California

2015 – Present Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Work History

September 2009 – December 2009

Teaching Assistant, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, University of Southern California

May 2010 – May 2011 Research Assistant, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, University of Southern California

Research Interests

Polymer Grafted Magnetic Nanoparticles for soft micro-actuators

We are interested in forming soft micro-actuators by grafting thermo- and photo- responsive polymers to the surface of magnetic nanoparticles. The magnetic nanoparticles can be aligned in an electric field and the polymers will be designed so that they will swell and shrink in response to light. By doing so, we hope to create a micro-actuators that are capable of reversibly expanding and contracting to be used for useful work.



Group Alumni

Ph.D.
NameGraduation YearThesis
Amsul Khanal
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien and S. Garoff)
2014Spreading of Surfactant-laden Aerosols on Entangled Polymer Solution Subphases
Stacey Louie (CEE)
(co-advised, G. Lowry)
2014Characterization and Modeling of Macromolecules on Nanoparticles and their Effects on Nanoparticle Aggregation
Adam L. Canady2013Adsorption of Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Conjugated Proteins to Oil/Water Interfaces Relevant to Drug Delivery
Stacy M. Wirth2013Impacts of Silver Nanoparticles on Bacterial Biofilms
Teresa L. Kirschling
(minor advisor, G. Lowry)
2011Interactions of Microbial Communities with Engineered Nanoparticles in Environmental Systems
Sheetal Pai
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien)
2011Adsorption of Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Conjugated Proteins to Biomaterials used in Delivery
Trishna Saigal2011Development of Novel Pickering Emulsifiers using Polymer Grafted Nanoparticles
Jit Kang Lim
(co-advised, S. Majetich)
2009Hybrid Magnetic Plasmonic Nanoparticles
Hye-Jin Kim (CEE)
(major advisor, G. Lowry)
2009Transport, Reactivity and Fate of Polyelectrolyte Modified Zero Valent Iron Nanoparticles used for Groundwater Remediation in Heterogeneous Porous Media
Tanapon Phenrat (CEE)
(major advisor, G. Lowry)
2008Effect of Polymeric Surface Modification on Nano-Sized Zero Valent Iron (NZVI) Aggregation, Transport of Concentrated NZVI Dispersions in Porous Media, and Reactivity with Trichloroethylene
Andy Kusumo
(co-advised, J. Schneider)
2008High Capacity Polyelectrolyte Brushes for Tuning Protein Adsorption
Kevin Sirk2007Polyelectrolyte Surface Modification of Reactive Iron Nanoparticles
Navid Bin Saleh (CEE)
(major advisor, G. Lowry)
2007An Assessment of Novel Polymeric Coatings to Enhance Transport and in Situ Targeting of Nanoiron for Remediation of Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (NAPLs)
Jessica Tucker
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien)
2006Novel Extracellular Matrix Mimics: Applications in Drug Delivery and protein-Receptor Binding
Marvi Matos
(co-advised, L. White)
2006Electroosmotic Mass Transport Control in Polyacrylamide Gels via Embedded Silica Nanoparticles
Jason Hamm
(co-advised, S. Garoff)
2005Redispersion of Polymer Coated Colloidal Aggregates with Changing Solvent Quality
Hao Zhao
(co-advised, L. White)
2005Electrohydrodynamic Patterning and Separation of Colloids or Cells
Susan Daly DiPasquo
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien)
2004The Effect of Polyethylene Glycol Modification of Proteins on Adsorption Mechanisms
Derek Berglund
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien)
2003Tuning Adsorption via Polymer-Surfactant Complexation
Alan Braem
(co-advised, D. Prieve)
2001Colloidal and Interfacial Phenomena in Polymer/Surfactant Mixtures
Stephanie Butler Velegol2000Tuning Interfacial and Bulk Self-Assembly of Ionic Surfactants via Counterions and Non-Binding Polyelectrolytes
Eric Tsung2000A Novel Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Assay for the Catalytic Activity of Adsorbed Enzyme Monolayers
Joon-Hyung Kim1999Pyrene Solubilization in Micelles and Polymer-Surfactant Complexes
Michelle Lourette Sun1999Coadsorption of Strongly Interacting Proteins and Surfactants
Edward S. Pagac1997Colloidal Forces in the Presence of  Polymers and Surfactants
James R. Charron1996Block Copolymer Adsorption to Phospholipid Monolayers at the Air-Water Interface
Julie L. Robeson1995Application of Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence to Probe Surface Diffusion and Orientation of Adsorbed Proteins

Masters
NameGraduation YearThesis
Emily Wallitsch2015A Comparison on Equilibrium Interfacial Properties of PEO Linear Polymers and Spherical Brushes at the Air/Water Interface
Ran Li2014Colloidal Particle Adhesion in Solutions of Polymer/Surfactant Mixtures
Owaiz Ebrahim2014Competitve Adsorption of Polymers with Complex Architectures
Feng Cao2013Nanoparticle colloidal stability in biofilms
Shih-hsin Chiang2013Interfacial tension between PEGylated protein solutions and organic polymer solutions
Chiang-Yu Wang2013Associative thickener effects on brush grafted nanoparticle stabilized emulsions
Zhenhuan Zhong2013Electrokinetics of solids coated with brush grafted nanoparticles
Yao Yu
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien)
2013Sustained release of PEGylated RNase A from PLG microspheres prepared with butyl acetate as organic solvent
Sneha Solanki
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien and S. Garoff)
2012Comparison of surfactant effectiveness in enhancing deposited aerosol spreading with application to pulmonary delivery
Ramankur Sharma
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien and S. Garoff)
2011Spreading and wetting characteristics of a drop of pure surfactant and surfactant solution on liquid subphases
Roomi Kalita
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien and S. Garoff)
2011Incomplete spreading of surfactants and surfactant solutions on liquid subphases: a proof of surfactant moving ahead of contact lines and the origin of autophobing
Caitlyn Trombly2010Macromolecule Adsorption to Silver Nanoparticles
Don Jin Seo
(co-advised, S. Majetich)
2009Preparation of Optically Detectable Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanorods
Chiung-Hsuan Chung
(co-advised, S. Garoff)
2008Marangoni Driven Flow of Surfactant Solutions on Polymer Solution Subphase”
Marianne Mota
(co-advised, T. Pryzbycien)
2008In Vitro Release of Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Modified Proteins from Biodegradable Depots
Sichol Srithavatchai2005Origins of Persistent Non-Equilibrium States in Co-Adsorbed Layers of Polymers and Surfactants
JitKang Lim
(co-advised, S. Majetich)
2005Electrohydrodynamic Technique for Spatial and Temporal Control of Reactions in Microfluidic Systems
Prasad NSB1994Estimation of Intermolecular Forces between Adsorbed Proteins via Optical Reflectometry and Monte Carlo Simulations
Thomas E. Rabe1992The Role of Surface Flexibility in the Surface Diffusion of Adsorbed Proteins

Postdocs


NameTenureProject Title
Nintin Kumar, Ph.D.
(joint supervised, S. Garoff)
2001-2003Nonionic surfactant adsorption and dynamic wetting

Visiting Graduate Students
NameTenureThesis
Junxue An
(Ph.D., KTH Royal Instiute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden)
Jan - June 2014Anionic surfactant uptake by high-grafting density cationic polyelectrolyte brush-grafted nanoparticles
Maria Lundin.
(Ph.D., KTH Royal Institue of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden)
Sept - Dec 2007Inter- and intra-layer diffusion in layer by layer assembled polyelectrolyte multilayers