Our Laboratory of Biomaterials, Drug Delivery,
Bionanotechnology and Molecular Recognition has been the leading group and pacesetter in the
field of drug delivery and controlled release,
a field that has been developed into a mature area
of scholarly and applied research. In addition we
have had extensive contributions in biomaterials
and bionanotechnology, and have contributed
seminal work in the field of feedback controlled
biomedical devices. The multidisciplinary approach
of this research in bionanotechnology and
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. Our contributions have been translated
into more than twenty medical products with multibillion
Fundamentals of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Transport Systems: The fundamentals and rational design of drug delivery systems and biomaterials have been set by our group over the past 35 years. In its very early days, drug delivery was an empirical field where the selection of components for successful formulations was based on a heuristic approach. Peppas and collaborators were the first to set the theories and equations that led to the design of a wide range of new systems. For example, using biomedical engineering principles and new biomedical transport theories, they developed the equations that describe Fickian and non-Fickian diffusion in controlled release devices. The “Peppas equation” has become the standard method of analysis of any pharmaceutical device. Using the modeling similarities of phase erosion and state erosion, they developed a unified models for all drug delivery systems. Similarly, they developed the theoretical framework for the analysis of transport through crosslinked biomaterials (the Peppas-Reinhart theory), ionic hydrogels (the Brannon-Peppas theory), and gel-tissue interactions via tethers (the Huang-Peppas theory and the Sahlin-Peppas equation). For the impact of these theories and analyses, Dr. Peppas has been recognized as the most cited and highly published author in drug delivery, biomaterials and drug delivery, and intelligent materials ( Web of Science ® 2011). He has also ranked as one of the most cited scientists with
51,563 citations (half of them in just the last five
years) and an H-index of 113 (link).
Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Devices: Applications of these theories have had significant impact in the development of new biomedical systems and devices. Peppas and his students originated the novel muco- and bioadhesive systems that interact molecularly with the mucus and tissue and have been able to prolong bioavailability of proteins and peptides in the blood. As a result of his work, a number of biomedical polymers and commercial delivery devices have been launched. For example, our group was the first to develop novel toxic-free poly(vinyl alcohol) gels by the freezing-thawing technique in 1975. These gels became very successful articular cartilage replacement systems. In 1978, the group developed the same systems for in situ replacement of vocal cords, a successful medical procedure that remained in practice until the late 1990s and assisted about 45,000 patients.
Intelligent Hydrogels: This laboratory group pioneered (1979) the use of hydrogels in drug delivery applications, including epidermal bioadhesive systems and systems for the release of theophylline, proxyphylline, diltiazem, and oxprenolol. Perhaps the most important development of our labs has been the new technologies of oral delivery systems for insulin and other proteins. These devices release insulin orally, “protecting” the insulin throughout its transport in the stomach, upper small intestine, and, eventually, blood, and bypassing diabetics’ need for several daily injections. Dr. Peppas’ group has shown that these new systems exhibit very high bioavailability. This is the first time that an oral system has been shown to be effective for oral delivery of proteins, especially insulin. In fact, the same technology has been used for the transmucosal (oral, buccal) delivery of calcitonin (for treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women) and interferon-alpha (for cancer therapy), and is presently investigated for interferon-beta release for multiple sclerotic patients. In tests on over 1500 rats and dogs that were given capsules containing microspheres of this new biomaterial carrier, high bioavailability was determined.
Intelligent, Feedback Control-Based Systems: Dr. Peppas was one of the pioneers of intelligent biomaterials, and medical devices. Using intelligent polymers as early as 1980, the Peppas group were the first to use such pH-sensitive and temperature-sensitive systems for modulated release of streptokinase and other fibrinolytic enzymes. In the 1990s and in this century, Dr. Peppas became the main proponent of the use of intelligent systems in the medical field. Physiologically-controlled and disease-responsive, feedback control-based devices require the operation/function of electrical and mechanical parts as a result of on-line measurement of physiological variables of the body, blood or other biological fluids. Peppas utilized the basics of biomedical transport phenomena, control theory, and kinetic behavior to design novel devices and to optimize their behavior in the body or in contact with the body. Adjustment of appropriate components of these devices was based on simple or sophisticated control or other physiological based models. To this end, Dr. Peppas and his group have investigated the biocompatibility of all components of these devices and have provided knowledge of cellular response mechanisms that may be related to changes in immunological status, physical tissue damage. Research in physiologically-responsive devices has sought to show how it is possible to use classical and biomedical engineering principles, mathematics, transport phenomena and control theory to design devices and artificial organs, often based on "intelligent materials," which are responsive to changes in the surrounding environment. Dr. Peppas developed feedback control devices, such as glucose-sensitive microsensors that can respond to abnormal glucose levels by releasing incorporated insulin to the blood at desired rates. Such feedback control systems could be perfected for use in treatment of diabetes. In addition, he developed temperature-sensitive devices that can be used for treatment of malaria by release of antipyretics. A natural consequence of this work was his founding of Mimetic Solutions, a company that commercializes these devices and is in the forefront of intelligent device and bioMEMs development.
Todd W.B Gehr
Jennifer J. Sahlin
Atul R. Khare
Richard W. Korsmeyer
Mary T. am
J. Eric Dietz
Diana K. Snelling
Jay O. Blanchette
J. Zachary Hilt
Martin L. Gran
David B. Henthorn
Robert S. Parker
Kristy M. Wood
Alec B. Scranton
E. Hunter Lauten
Donald E. Owens III
* Green indicates those in academic positions
* Asterisk indicates former post docs
Celebration of the Founding of AICHE 100 Years Ago with article in the chemical heritage foundation magazine by Nicholas Peppas (Fall 2008) (click here)
The Peppas Factor: Educating Future Leaders An article about Dr. Peppas' educational contributions and teaching style (link)(pdf).
Three laboratory researchers received best papers awards for their work presented in the Biomaterials Day of the Society for Biomaterials in Austin, TX, May 31, 2013.
Stephanie Steichen and Michael Koetting received the first and second prizes in the graduate students competition, while
Hannah Frizzell received the first prize in the undergraduate students competition.
At the Engineering Commencement of Friday, May 17, 2013, graduating senior Rebekah Scheuerle received the outstanding student and leader award of the Cockrell School of Engineering.
Professor Nicholas Peppas is the recipient of the 2013 Benjamin Garver Lamme Excellence in Engineering Education Award of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) . The ASEE’s Benjamin Garver Lamme Award is the most prominent education award in the nation and was established in 1927. The award acknowledges excellence in teaching, contributions to research and technical literature, and achievements that advance engineering college administration. This award will be presented at the ASEE Annual Awards Banquet June 26 in Atlanta, Georgia. Peppas joins two other former Lamme Award recipients from the ChE department of the University of Texas,
John McKetta (1976) and Jim Stice (2010). Other chemical engineers who received this recognition in the past include Warren K. Lewis (1947), Olaf A. Hougen (1961), Max Peters (1973), William H. Corcoran (1979) and George Burnet (1982). Previously, the ASEE has also awarded Peppas the Western Electric Fund Award (1980), the Curtis McGraw Award (1988), the George Westinghouse Award (1992), the General Electric Senior Research Award (2000), the Dow ChE Lectureship Award (2006), and election to Fellow (2008).
Professor Nicholas Peppas has been selected to receive the Distinguished Scientist Award of the International Journal of Nanomedicine, The Award recognizes an established scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of nanomedicine. Peppas will receive this award at the Fall Biomedical Engineering Society meeting in Seattle, WA.
Prof. Peppas presented the Parr Lecture in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on April 25, 2013 (link).
Prof. Peppas presented the 5th Ruckenstein Lecture in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department of the University of Buffalo on April 23, 2013 (link).
Prof. Peppas gave the Distinguished Lecture of the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech on March 7, 2013. He spoke on "New Frontiers in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Sciences: Advanced Intelligent Hydrogels for Treatment of Diabetes, Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis" (link).
Rebekah Scheuerle, a senior in ChE who has been working in the lab since the freshman year, just received the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue post-graduate studies at Cambridge University (link).
Prof. Peppas has been elected President-elect of the Engineering Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with automatic succession to President in February 2014.
Nicholas Peppas presented a plenary lecture on “Protein Transport Mechanisms and Protein/Polymer Dynamics in Transmucosal Delivery” at the 4th International Conference on Biomolecular Engineering sponsored by the Society of Biological Engineering in Ft Lauderdale, FL, on January 14, 2013 (link).
Two publications by Richard Korsmeyer (MS '81, PhD '83) and Don Owens (PhD’ 07) and Nicholas Peppas on "Mechanisms of Solute Release from Porous Hydrophilic Polymers" and "Opsonization, Biodistribution, and Pharmacokinetics of Polymeric Nanoparticles" are the most cited papers in the history of the
International Journal of Pharmaceutics (link).
Nicholas Peppas presented a keynote lecture on “Intelligent Hydrogels and the Future of Nanomedicine” at the Symposium “New Innovations in Polymers and Biomaterials” held in Maui on December 14-17, 2012 to celebrate Prof. Hoffman’s 80th birthday. Professors Allan Hoffman (1932- ) and Nicholas Peppas (1948- ) are academic brothers having done their PhDs at MIT’s ChE Department (in 1957 and 1973, respectively) under the advising of Professor Ed Merrill.
The 9th International Polymer Conference (IPC2012) "Progress and Future of Polymer Science and Technology" was organized by the Society of Polymer Science Japan, in Kobe, Japan on December 10-14, 2012. Nicholas Peppas was one of the eight invited speakers and spoke on “Dynamics and Diffusional Behavior of Complexation Networks and Gels with Applications to Drug Delivery and Molecular Recognition”.
During his visit to Japan Professor Peppas gave talks at the Dainippon Sumitomo company on “Intelligent Protein Delivery Systems” and at Kobe Gakuin University on “Intelligent Polymer Systems for the Delivery of Proteins, siRNA and Chemotherapeutics”.
Nicholas Peppas was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. He was honored by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Danilo Türk at a ceremony on December 4 at the University of Ljubljana in Ljubljana, Slovenia (link).
The other two honorary doctorates are the noted statistician Prof. Donald Dublin of Harvard University, and Adam Michnik, a Polish historian, essayist, and former dissident. Peppas has collaborated with the university for more than 15 years and has published papers with Slovenian scientists including students who visited his laboratory and carried out research.
October 15: IOM just announced that Antonios “Tony” G. Mikos was elected a member of the
Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.
Tony G Mikos (MS ’85, PhD ’88) is the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University, Houston, TX. He was recognized for “for seminal contributions and visionary leadership in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine” (link). This way, Tony becomes member of a second US academy in the same year, having been elected to NAE in February 2012 and inducted just two weeks ago. Dr. Mikos is only one of three Texans who are members of both NAE and IOM, the other two being Profs. Georgiou and Peppas.
On September 30, 2012 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
2012 Founders Award to Nicholas A. Peppas (link). The Founders Award is the highest recognition bestowed by NAE to its members. Previous bioengineers who received this award include Y. C. Fung (1998) and Shu Chien (2006) of UC San Diego, Bob Nerem of Georgia Tech (2008) and Bob Langer (2010) of MIT. Previous chemical engineers who were recipients of the Founders Award include Warren K. Lewis (1973) and Hoyt Hottel (1980) of MIT, Neal Amundson of the University of Houston (1990), Ralph Landau (1994) of Halcon, Stu Churchill (2002) of the University of Pennsylvania, Eli Ruckenstein (2004) of Buffalo and Bob Langer (2010) of MIT.
Don R. Miller (PhD '84) will receive the 2012 AIChE Industrial Research & Development Award. He is recognized "For outstanding achievement in the industrial practice of chemical engineering toward the successful development and commercialization of pharmaceutical and biomedical products."
1. D Forbes; NA Peppas, "Differences in molecular structure in cross-linked polycationic nanoparticles synthesized using ARGET ATRP or UV-initiated polymerization", Polymer (under review).
2. WB Liechty; RL Scheuerle; NA Peppas, "Tunable, responsive nanogels containing tert-butyl methacrylate and 2-(tert-butylamino)ethyl methacrylate", Polymer (link).
3. Schoener C A; Carillo-Conde B; Hutson H N; and Peppas N A, An Inulin and Doxorubicin Conjugate for Improving Cancer Therapy, J. Drug Deliv. Sci. Technol. 23, 111-118 (2013) (link).
4. Schoener C A; Hutson H N; Peppas N A, Amphiphilic Interpenetrating Polymer Networks for the Oral Delivery of Chemotherapeutics, AIChE J. (Published on line,
5. J. M. Knipe, J.T. Peters and N. A. Peppas, “Theranostic agents for gene delivery and spatiotemporal tracking", NanoToday, 8, 21-38 (2013) (link).
6. N. A. Peppas, “Historical Perspectives on Advanced Drug Delivery: How engineering design and mathematical modeling helped the field mature“, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 65, 5-9 (2013) (link).
7. A. S. Puranik, E. R. Dawson and N.A. Peppas, “Recent Advances in Drug Eluting Stents”, Intern. J Pharmac. 441, 665-679 (2013) (link).
8. S. Steichen, M. E. Caldorera-Moore and N. A. Peppas, “Nanoparticles and Targeting Moieties for the Delivery of Cancer Therapeutics”, Europ. J. Pharmac. Sci., 48, 416-427 (2013) (link).
9. Khademhosseini A, Peppas N A, Micro- and Nanoengineering of Biomaterials for Healthcare Applications, Adv. Healthcare Mater., 2, 10-12 (2013) (link).
10. Schoener C A; Peppas N A, Oral Delivery of Chemotherapeutic Agents: Background and Potential of Drug Delivery Systems for Colon Delivery, J. Drug Deliv. Sci. Technol. 22, 459-468 (2012) (link).
11. Peppas N A, An introduction to the most cited papers in the history of the ADDR journal, Adv. Drug Deliv Rev. 64 1-3 (2012) (link).
12. Peppas N A, Caldorera-Moore M, Liechty W, Historical survey of drug delivery devices, in ”Drug-Device Combinations for Chronic Diseases,” R. Siegel and S P Liu, editors Wiley, New York, NY (submitted).
13. Cha C, Liechty W, Khademhosseini A, Peppas N A , Designing Biomaterials to Direct Stem Cell Fate, ACS Nano, 6, 9353-9358 (2012) (link).
14. N A Peppas, E Perez-Herrero, Protein Imprinting by Means of Alginate-Based Polymers, US Patent 20,120,276,386 (2012) (link).
15. D Forbes; M Creixell; H Frizzell; NA Peppas, Polycationic nanoparticles synthesized using ARGET ATRP for drug delivery, Europ. J. Pharm. Biopharm., 84, 472-478 (2013) (link).
16. E Losi, N A Peppas, R A Ketcham, G Colombo, R Bettini, F Sonvico, P Colombo, Investigation of Swelling Behavior of Dome Matrix® Drug Delivery Modules by High Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography, J. Drug. Deliv. Sci. Technol. 23, 165-170 (2013) (link).
17. M Mouton-Johnston, D C Forbes, Controlled release using an oral drug delivery system designed to improve treatment of conditions such as multiple sclerosis, J Youths in Science (in press).
18. Bae H; Puranik AS; Gauvin R; Edalat F; Carrillo-Conde B; Peppas N A; Khademhosseini A, Building Vascular Networks, Sci. Transl. Med., 4, 160ps23 (2012) (link).
19. Schoener C A; Peppas N A, pH-Responsive hydrogels containing PMMA nanoparticles: an analysis of controlled release of a chemotherapeutic conjugate and transport properties, J. Biomat. Sci. Polym. Ed. 24, 1027-1040 (2013) (published on line, link).
20. Schoener C A; Hutson H N; Peppas N A, pH-Responsive Hydrogels with Dispersed Hydrophobic Nanoparticles for the Oral Delivery of Chemotherapeutics, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A (in press).
21. Peppas N A, Promoting Convergence in Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Annals Chinese Acad. Engineering (in press).
22. Gran M L; Peppas N A, Metal-Polymer Nanoparticulate Systems for Externally-Controlled Delivery, Adv. Health Care Mater. (under review).
23. Shofner J P; Peppas N A, Oral Delivery of Protein-Transporter Bioconjugates Using Intelligent Complexation Hydrogels, Europ. J. Pharm. Sci. (under review).
24. Phillips M ; Peppas N A, Carbohydrates in Drug Delivery, J. Biomat. Sci., Polym. Ed. (under review).
25. Peppas N A Smart Materials for Drug Delivery: Preface, in Alvarez-Lorenzo C; Concheiro A., Smart Materials for Drug Delivery, RSC Smart Materials Series, London, in press.
26. M. Kanzelberger-Coolich, Mary Caldorera-Moore and N.A. Peppas, “Development and Optimization of PEG Functionalized Insulin Loaded Hydrogel Complexes for Increased Protection and Bioavailability of Orally Administered Therapeutic Proteins", Intern. J. Pharm., (under review).
27. S. Marek and N. A. Peppas, “Insulin Release Dynamics from Poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) Hydrogel Systems”, AIChE J., DOI: 10.1002/aic.14108 (published on line, link).
28. D. C. Forbes and N. A. Peppas, “Oral delivery of small RNA and DNA", J. Controlled Release, 162, 438-445 (2012) (link)
29. D. R. Kryscio, M. Q. Fleming and N. A. Peppas, “Protein Conformational Studies for Macromolecularly Imprinted Polymers", Macromol. Biosciences, 12, 1137-1144 (2012) (link).
30. M. Creixell and N. A. Peppas, “Co-delivery of siRNA and Therapeutic Agents Using Nanocarriers to Overcome Multidrug Resistance in Cancer Therapy” , NanoToday, 7, 367–379 (2012) (link).
31. A. K. Ekenseair, R. N. Seidel and N. A. Peppas, “Tuning the Transport Dynamics of Small Penetrant Molecules in Glassy Polymers”, Polymer 53, 4010-4017 (2012)
32. Schoener C A; Hutson H N; Peppas N A, pH-Responsive Hydrogels with Dispersed Hydrophobic Nanoparticles for the Delivery of Hydrophobic Therapeutic Agents, Polym Intern. 61, 874-879 (2012) (link).
Rebekah Scheuerle (ChE BS'13, Gates Cambridge Scholar) is featured in an interview with KXAN (Channel 4, NBC) for being one of the outstanding graduates of the class of 2013 from the University of Texas.
Rebekah Scheuerle (BS'13, Gates Cambridge Scholar) talks about her work in Prof. Peppas' lab and the drug delivery research she intends to pursue at the University of Cambridge.
Kristi Anseth (BS '91, post doc '94) talks about her work in the field of tissue engineering as part of a series featuring some of the extraordinary people in Boulder, Colorado.