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Photo of Peppas, Nicholas A.
Office Location: BME 3.503C

Nicholas A. Peppas


Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering # 6

Professor, McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering
Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Professor, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School
Professor, Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, College of Pharmacy

Research Group Website

Research Presentation for Prospective Graduate Students

Educational Qualifications

Doc. Hon. Causa, University of Tel Aviv, Israel (2023)
Doc. Hon. Causa, National Technical University of Bucharest Romania (2022)
Doc. Hon. Causa, University of Thessaloniki, Greece (2019)
Doc. Hon. Causa, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2018)
Hon. Prof., Beihang University, Beijing, China (2017)
Hon. Prof., PLA Hospital and University, Beijing, China (2017)
Hon. Prof., Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China (2016)
Doc. Hon. Causa, National Technical University of Athens, Greece (2016)
Doc. Hon. Causa, University of Patras, Greece (2016)
Hon. Prof., Sichuan University, Chengdu, China (2012)
Doc. Hon. Causa, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (2012)
Doc. Hon. Causa, University of Athens, Greece (2000)
Pharm. D. Hon. Causa, University of Parma, Italy (1999)
Doc. Hon. Causa, University of Ghent, Belgium (1999)
Sc. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1973)
Dipl. Eng., National Technical University of Athens, Greece (1971)

Courses Taught

ChE 179 (U): “Discussions in Biological and Macromolecular Engineering”
ChE 322 (U): “Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics”
ChE 355 (U): “Introduction to Polymer Science”
ChE 372 (U): “Kinetics and Reaction Engineering”
ChE 379/384 (U/G): “Polymerization Kinetics and Reaction Engineering
ChE 384 (G): “Advances in Biomedical Engineering”
ChE 384T (G): “Bionanotechnology”
ChE 387M (G): “Mass Transfer”
BME 354 (U): “Molecular Sensing Nanodevices for Biomedical Engineers”
BME 377T (U): “Controlled Drug Delivery”.
BME 380J.2 (G): “Quantitative Physiology”
BME 382J (G): “Advanced Controlled Drug Delivery”.
BME 385J.4 (G): “Advances in Biomaterials Science and Engineering”
BME 385J (G) “Bionanotechnology”


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


Our research contributions have been in several areas of biomaterials, biomolecular engineering, drug delivery, mathematics and simulations of biological and drug/tissue processes, engineering design of novel biological active entities, polymers and biomedical engineering. The multidisciplinary approach of his 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, drug delivery systems and advanced, intelligent, feedback controlled biological systems.

Our group is known for our work on the preparation, characterization and evaluation of the behavior of compatible, crosslinked polymers (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 group has provided the fundamental basis for a rational development of intelligent systems. In addition, our work has led to a series of novel environmentally responsive controlled release systems, swelling protein delivery systems, a series of pH-sensitive devices for peptide delivery and a wide range of bio- and mucoadhesive systems. Other biomedical work of our group had dealt with understanding of transport of biological compounds in tissues, analysis of polymer/tissue interactions, and understanding of the behavior of biomembranes. 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.

Awards & Honors

  • Warren K. Lewis Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), 2021
  • Global Leader in Pharmaceutical Sciences Award, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), 2021
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 2020
  • American Chemical Society (ACS) Oesper Award, 2020
  • Elected Member, Indian National Academy of Engineering; 2020
  • Elected Member, Korean Academy of Science and Technology, 2020
  • Elected Fellow, ACS Polymer Chemistry Division, 2019
  • Monie Ferst Award, Sigma Xi, 2019
  • Herman Mark Award, Polymer Science, ACS, 2019
  • Elected Member, European Academy – Academia Europeae, 2019
  • Deputy Editor, Science Advances, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS/Science), 2019
  • Elected Member, Canadian Academy of Engineering, 2019
  • IEEE/EMBS Academic Career Achievement Award, 2019
  • Elected Fellow, ACS Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Division, 2019
  • Elected Fellow, ACS Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Division, 2018
  • Adam Yarmolinsky Award for Exceptional Contributions, National Academy of Medicine, 2018
  • Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award, AAPS, 2018
  • Elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 2018
  • Elected Honorary Professor, Beihang University, Beijing, 2018
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2018
  • Elected Honorary Professor, PLA Hospital and Medical School, Beijing, China, 2018
  • Associate Editor, Science Advances, AAAS/Science, 2017
  • Editor, Regenerative Biomaterials, Oxford University Press, 2017
  • Elected Honorary Professor, Peking Union Medical College, 2017
  • Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017
  • Inaugural Pioneer of Nanotechnology Award, Johns Hopkins University, 2017
  • One of 5 “Medicine Makers of 2017” Worldwide, 2017
  • List of 100 Best Materials Scientists in the World, 2017
  • Life Achievements and Service, Controlled Release Society (CRS), 2016
  • Honorary Doctorate, National Technical University of Athens, Greece, 2016
  • Elected to the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2016
  • Robert A. Pritzker Distinguished Lecture Award, Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), 2016
  • Elected to the National Materials and Manufacturing Board, National Research Council (NRC), 2015
  • International Award, European Society for Biomaterials, Krakow, Poland, 2015
  • Controlled Release Society Award for Life Contributions, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2015
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Patras, 2015
  • Giulio Natta Medal, Italy, 2014
  • Applied Polymer Science Award, ACS, 2014
  • Elected to the Academy of Athens, 2014
  • Nanoscale Science and Engineering Award, AIChE, 2014
  • Distinguished Scientist Award, Intern J Nanomedicine, 2013
  • Benjamin Garver Lamme Excellence in Engineering Education Award, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 2013
  • Founders Award, National Academy of Engineering (NAE), 2012
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2012
  • Elected Honorary Professor, Sichuan University, 2012
  • Hocott Distinguished Engineering Research Award, University of Texas at Austin, 2012
  • Elected to the Royal Academy of Spain (Academia Real), 2012
  • Fellow, ACS, 2011
  • Excellence in Surface Science Award, Surface in Biomaterials Foundation (SFB), 2011
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, BMES, 2010
  • Inaugural Fellow, CRS, 2010
  • Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal, 2010
  • William Hall Award, SFB, 2010
  • Southeastern Universities Research Association Distinguished Scientist Award, 2010
  • Maurice Marie Janot Award, Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2010
  • Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2008
  • Founders Award, AIChE, 2008
  • One Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era, AIChE, 2008
  • President, International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering, 2008
  • Fellow, ASEE, 2008
  • Inaugural Fellow, Materials Research Society (MRS), 2008
  • Pierre Galletti Award, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2008
  • Institute Lecturer, AIChE, 2007
  • Career Research Excellence Award, University of Texas, 2007
  • Jay Bailey Award, SBE, AIChE, 2006
  • William H. Walker Award, AIChE, 2006
  • Dow Chemical Engineering and Lectureship Award, ASEE, 2006
  • Elected to the NAE, 2006
  • Elected to the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, 2006
  • Chair of College of Fellows, AIMBE, 2006
  • Inaugural Fellow, BMES, 2005
  • Founders Award, Society for Biomaterials (SFB), 2005
  • Elected Member of the French Academy of Pharmacy, 2005
  • Research Excellence Award for Best Research Paper, UT Austin, 2004President, SFB, 2003
  • Dale Wurster Award in Pharmaceutics, AAPS, 2002
  • Newsmaker of the Year, ACS, 2002
  • Eurand Award for Life Achievements in Oral Drug Delivery, CRS, 2002
  • Sigma Xi University-wide Research Award, Purdue University, 2002
  • General Electric, Senior Research Award, ASEE, 2000
  • Herbert McCoy Award, Highest Research Achievement, Purdue University, 2000
  • Heller Award, Best Research, CRS, 2000
  • Fellow, AAAS, 2000
  • Research Achievement Award in Pharmaceutical Technology, AAPS, 1999
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (APS), 1998
  • Fellow, AIChE, 1997
  • Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Award, AIChE, 1994
  • Fellow, Society for Biomaterials, 1994
  • George Westinghouse Award, ASEE, 1992
  • Clemson Award for Basic Research in Biomaterials, SFB, 1992
  • Founding Fellow, AIMBE, 1992
  • Founders Award for Outstanding Research, CRS, 1991
  • Fellow, AAPS, 1990
  • Curtis McGraw Award for Outstanding Research, ASEE, 1988
  • President of the Controlled Release Society, 1987 - 1988
  • Materials Engineering and Sciences Award, AIChE, 1984

Selected Publications

  • WB Liechty, RL Scheuerle, JE Vela Ramirez, NA Peppas, “Uptake and function of membrane‐destabilizing cationic nanogels for intracellular drug delivery”, Bioeng. Transl. Medicine 4 (1), 17-29 (2019).
  • ME Wechsler, JR Clegg, NA Peppas, “The Interface of Drug Delivery and Regenerative Medicine”, in R. L. Reis, & M. E. Gomes (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Vol. 1, pp. 77–86, Academic Press: Elsevier, 2019.
  • AM Wagner, JM Knipe, G Orive, NA Peppas Quantum dots in biomedical applications, Acta Biomaterialia 94, 44-63 (2019).
  • H. F. Oldenkamp, J. E. Vela Ramirez, N. A. Peppas, Reevaluating the Importance of Carbohydrates as Regenerative Biomaterials, Regenerative Biomaterials, 6. 1-12 (2019).
  • H. R Culver, M. E Wechsler, N. A Peppas, Label-Free Detection of Tear Biomarkers Using Hydrogel Coated Gold Nanoshells in a Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance-Based Biosensor, ACS Nano, 12, 9342-9354 (2018).
    NA Peppas, “Hands-on Biology Education Kits”, Science, 361 (6401) 463-464 (2018).
  • JR Clegg, CM Ludolph, NA Peppas, “QCM‐D assay for quantifying the swelling, biodegradation, and protein adsorption of intelligent nanogels”, J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 137, 48655 (2020).
  • WB Liechty, RL Scheuerle, JEV Ramirez, NA Peppas, “Cytoplasmic delivery of functional siRNA using pH-Responsive nanoscale hydrogels“, Intern. J. Pharm. 562, 249-257 (2019).
  • ME Wechsler, RE Stephenson, AC Murphy, HF Oldenkamp, A Singh. NA Peppas, “Engineered microscale hydrogels for drug delivery, cell therapy, and sequencing“, Biomedical Microdevices, 21, 31-45 (2019).
  • G. Orive, N. Ashammakhi, A. Dolatshahi-Pirouz, R. Hernandez, A. Khademhosseini, D. F. Emerich, J. Vela Ramirez, E. Santos Vizcaíno, N.A. Peppas, J. L. Pedraz, “3D encapsulated cells to release biologically active products in the eye”, Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 68, 67-82 (2019).
  • JR Clegg, AM Wagner, SR Shin, S Hassan, A Khademhosseini, NA Peppas, “Modular fabrication of intelligent material-tissue interfaces for bioinspired and biomimetic devices”, Progress Mater. Sci., 106, 100589 (2019).
  • M Caldorera-Moore, JE Vela Ramirez, NA Peppas. “Transport and delivery of interferon-α through epithelial tight junctions via pH-responsive poly(methacrylic acid-grafted-ethylene glycol) nanoparticles”, J. Drug Targeting, 27, 582-589, (2019).
  • ME Wechsler, JE Vela Ramirez, NA Peppas, “Nanoparticle Mediated Drug Delivery for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease: Crossing the Blood–Brain Barrier”, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 58, 15079-15087 (2019).
  • AM Wagner, JM Knipe, G. Orive, NA Peppas, Qantum Dots in Biomedical Applications”, Acta Biomaterialia, 94, 44-63 (2019).
  • K Elkhoury, CS Russell, L Sanchez‐Gonzalez, A Mostafavi, TJ Williams, Cyril Kahn, Nicholas A Peppas, Elmira Arab‐Tehrany, Ali Tamayol, “Soft‐Nanoparticle Functionalization of Natural Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering Applications“, Adv. Healthcare Mater., DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201900506 (2019).
  • NR Richbourg, NA Peppas, VI Sikavitsas, “Tuning the biomimetic behavior of scaffolds for regenerative medicine through surface modifications”, J Tissue Engn Regen Medicine, 13 (8) 1275-1293 (2019).
  • JR Clegg, AS Irani, EW Ander, CM Ludolph, AK Venkataraman, JX Zhong, NA Peppas, “Synthetic networks with tunable responsiveness, biodegradation, and molecular recognition for precision medicine applications”, Science Advances 5 (9) eaax7946 (2019).
  • ME Wechsler, M Shevchuk, NA Peppas, “Developing a Multidisciplinary Approach for Engineering Stem Cell Organoids”, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 48, 1895-1904 (2019).
  • RA Hegab, S Pardue, X Shen, C Kevil, NA Peppas, ME Caldorera‐Moore, “Effect of network mesh size and swelling to the drug delivery from pH responsive hydrogels”, J Appl Polym Sci, 137, 48767 (2020).
  • TM De Witte, AM Wagner, LE Fratila‐Apachitei, AA Zadpoor, NA Peppas, “Immobilization of nanocarriers within a porous chitosan scaffold for the sustained delivery of growth factors in bone tissue engineering applications”, J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 108, 1122-1135 (2020).
  • JR Clegg, NA Peppas, V Palacio-Betancur, JC Armas-Pérez, S Villada-Gil, , N. L Abbott, Juan P Hernández-Ortiz, Juan J de Pablo, “Where physics meets chemistry meets biology for fundamentals of mater research, Soft Matter. 16, 847-855 (2020).
  • JR Clegg, NA Peppas, “Molecular Recognition with Soft Biomaterials”, Soft Matter, 16, 856-869 (2020).
  • N.A. Peppas and A. S. Hoffman, “Hydrogels” in “Biomaterials Science: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine,” W. Wagner, S. Sakiyama-Elbert, G. Zhang, M. Yaszemski, eds., 100-107, 4nd edition, Academic Press, New York, NY, 2020.
  • S. P. B. Teixeira, R. M. A. Domingues, M. Shevchuk, M. E. Gomes, N. A. Peppas, R. L. Reis, "Biomaterials for Sequestration of Growth Factors and Modulation of Cell Behavior", Adv Functional Mater., 30 (44), 1909011 (2020).
  • AB. Shodeinde, AC. Murphy, HF. Oldenkamp, AS. Potdar, CM. Ludolph, NA. Peppas, “Recent Advances in Smart Biomaterials for the Detection and Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases”, Adv Functional Mater., 20 (37) 1909556 (2020).
  • NA Peppas, Exosomes in Sepsis-Associated Effects, Science, 368, 149-151 (2020).
  • L. Izeia, T. Eufrasio-da-Silva, A. Dolatshahi-Pirouz, S. Ostrovidov, G. Paolone, N. A. Peppas, P. De Vos, D. Emerich, G. Orive, “Cell-laden Alginate Hydrogales for the Treatment of Diabetes” Exp Opin in Drug Delivery, 17, 113-118 (2020).
  • J. Gu, J Clegg, L. Heersema, H Smyth, NA Peppas, "PEGylation Enhances Mammalian Cytocompatibility of Polycationic Nanogels while Maintaining their Gram-negative Bactericidal Activity", Biomacromolecules, 21, 1528-1538. (2020).
  • A. K. Venkatraman, J. R. Clegg and N.A. Peppas, “Polymer composition Primariluy Dettremines the Protein Recognition Characteristics of Molecularly Imprinted Hydrogels, J Mater. Chemistry, B8 7685-7695 (2020).
  • M. Wechsler, M. Shevchuk and N.A. Peppas, Developing a Multidisciplinary Approach for Engineering Stem Cell Organoids, Ann. Biomed. Eng., 48, 1895-1904 (2020).
  • J.R. Clegg, C. M. Ludolph and N. A. Peppas, QCM-D Assay for Quantifying the Swelling, Biodegradation and Protein Adsorption of Intelligent Nanogels, J. Appl. Polym. Sci, 137, 4866 (2020).
  • Y He, J Cao, X Yang, S Cai, H Mei, K Luo, H Gao, B He, NA Peppas, “A Synergistic Chemo-Immune Therapy using Cascade-Targeting for Dual Drug Delivery to Specific Sites by Enzyme-Sensitive Nano-platform”, Sci Advances, submitted.
  • TM De Witte, AM Wagner, LE Fratila-Apachitei, AA Zadpoor and NA Peppas, "Degradable PMMA-co-MAA nanoparticles for controlled delivery of growth factors for bone regeneration," Tissue Engineering Part A., 26, 1226-1242 (2020).
  • N.A. Peppas and J. Vela Ramirez, “Molecularly and Cellularly Imprinted, Intelligent Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine”, in X.B. Fu and N. A. Peppas, eds, “Advances in Biomaterials and Tissue Regeneration”, Beijing, in press.
  • David S. Spencer, Aaliyah B. Shodeinde, David W. Beckman, Bryan C. Luu, Hannah R. Hodges and Nicholas A. Peppas, Biodegradable Cationic Nanogels with Tunable Size, Swelling and pKa for Drug Delivery, Intern. J. Pharmaceutics, 588, 116691 (2020).
  • D Huang, M Miller, B Ashok, S Jain, NA Peppas, “CRISPR/Cas systems to overcome challenges in developing the next generation of T cells for cancer therapy, Adv Drug Deliv Revs, 158, 17-35 (2020).
  • J Cao, D. Huang, NA Peppas, “Engineered Advanced Nanoparticulate Platforms to Address Key Biological Barriers of Delivering Chemotherapeutic Agents to Target Sites“, Adv Drug Delivery Revs, 167, 170-188 (2020).
  • M Miller, D Huang, and NA Peppas, "Delivery Systems for Gene and Immune Therapy", Adv Drug Deliv Revs, in press.
  • N Richbourg and NA Peppas, : "The Swollen Polymer Network Hypothesis: Quantitative Models of Hydrogel Swelling, Mechanics, and Solute Transport.", Progress in Polymer Science, 105, 101243 (2020).
  • L. Qin, J. Cao, K. Shao, F. Tong, Z. Yang, T. Lei, Y. Wang, C. Hu, C. S. Umeshappa, H. Gao, N. A. Peppas, A tumor-to-lymph procedure navigated versatile gel system for combinatorial therapy against tumor recurrence and metastasis. Sci. Adv. 6 (36), eabb3116 (2020).
  • P. B. Teixeira, R. M. A. Domingues, P. S. Babo, D. Berdecka, M. Miranda, M. Gomes, N. A> Peppas, R.L. Reis, Epitope-Imprinted Nanoparticles as Transforming Growth factor-b3 Sequestering Ligands to Modulate Stem Cell Fate, Adv Funct Mater., 31 (4), 2003934 (2021).
  • J.R. Cleggg, J.A. Sun, J. Gu, A.K. Venkatraman and N. A, Peppas, Peptide Conjugation Enhances the Cellular Colocalization, but notEndosomal Escape, of Modular Poly(acrylamide-co-methacrylic acid) Nanogels, J. Control. Rel., 329, 1162-1171 (2021).
  • MJ Mitchell, MM Billinsley, RN Haley, ME Wechsler, NA Peppas and RS Langer, “Engineering Precision Medicine for Drug Delivery”, Nature Drug Discovery, 20 (2) 101-124 (2021).
  • Y. He, L. Lei, J. Cao, X. Yang, S. Cai, F. Tong, D. Huang, H. Mei, K. Luo, H. Gao, B. He, and N. A Peppas, A combinational chemo-immune therapy using an enzyme-sensitive nanoplatform for dual-drug delivery to specific sites by cascade targeting, Science Advances, 7(6) eaba0776 (2021).
  • N.R. Richbourg, M.. Wancura, A.E. Gilchrist, S. Toubbeh, B.A..C Harley, E. Cosgriff-Hernandez, N.A. Peppas, Precise control of synthetic hydrogel network structure via linear, independent synthesis-swelling relationships, Science Advances, 7 (7), eabe3245 (2021).
  • M. Samandari, F. Aghabaglou, K. Nuutila, H. Derakhshandeh, Y. Zhang, Y.Endo, S. Harris, L. Barnum, C. Kreikemeier‐Bower, E. Arab‐Tehrany, N. A Peppas, I. Sinha, A. Tamayol, Intradermal Drug Delivery: Miniaturized Needle Array-Mediated Drug Delivery Accelerates Wound Healing, Adv Healthcare Materials, 10 (80), 2170040 (2021).
  • D. S Spencer, A. B Shodeinde, D. W Beckman, B. C Luu, H. R Hodges, N. A Peppas, Cytocompatibility, membrane disruption, and siRNA delivery using environmentally responsive cationic nanogels, J. Contr. Release, 332, 608-619 (2021).
  • D. M Ward, A. B Shodeinde, N. A Peppas, Innovations in Biomaterial Design toward Successful RNA Interference Therapy for Cancer Treatment, Adv Healthcare Materials, 2100350 (2021).
  • A. C Murphy, M. E Wechsler, N. A Peppas, Recent Advance,ments in Biosensing Approaches for Screening and Diagnostic Applications, Curr. Opinion, Biomed. Eng, 19, 100318 (2021).
  • Bhaargavi Ashok, Nicholas A Peppas, Marissa E Wechsler, Lipid- and polymer-based nanoparticle systems for the delivery of CRISPR/Cas9, J. Drug Deliv. Sci. Techn., 65, 102728 (2021).
  • N. R Richbourg, A. Ravikumar, N. A Peppas, Solute Transport Dependence on 3D Geometry of Hydrogel Networks, Macromol. Chem. Physics, 2100138 (2021).