a. Wetting of soft deformable surfaces

This research area focuses on understanding the interactions of liquid drops with soft, deformable substrates. On substrates that deform under the action of the surface tension forces of the liquid drops, an intriguing interplay of the solid-liquid interactions ensure different static and dynamic behaviors of the liquid drops. The applications of this topic range from exploring the substrate mediated coalescence for additive manufacturing applications to developing new cancer therapies based on the arrest of migration of tumor cells on soft surfaces.

Collaboration: Prof. Jacco Snoeijer (Univ. of Twente)

Involved Graduate Students (Present):

Involved Graduate Students (Past): Haoyuan Jing, Shayandev Sinha

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b. Electrostatics and Adhesion of membranes and bilayers

This research area focuses on developing novel theoretical and molecular dynamics simulation models to better understand (a) the electrostatic and charging of membranes and lipid bilayers (b) charge-driven adhesive interactions of nanoparticle with such membranes and bilayers, and (c) behavior, energetics, and interactions of nanovesicles and nanoparticle-supported lipid bilayers. The applications of such understanding range from devising more efficient nanoparticle-based drug delivery system to employing nanovesicle-models to understand the behavior of bio-nanomaterials like exosomes and extracellular vesicles.

Collaboration: Dr. Kumaran Ramamurthi (National Cancer Institute, NIH)

Involved Graduate Students (Present): Haoyuan Jing, Harnoor Singh Sachar, Vishal Sankar Sivasankar, Sai Ankit Etha

Involved Graduate Students (Past): Shayandev Sinha

Thesis resulting from this topic: BILAYER MEMBRANE ELECTROSTATICS AND CHARGE-REGULATED MEMBRANE-NANOPARTICLE INTERACTIONS (PhD Thesis of Mr. Shayandev Sinha)

Sponsors: NCI-UMD

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c. Polymer and Polyelectrolyte Brushes

This research area focuses on developing novel theoretical and molecular dynamics simulation models to better understand the thermodynamics and transport at surfaces grafted with polymer and polyelectrolyte molecules occupying “brush-like” configuration. The applications are in designing nanoscale interfaces for improved sensing, current rectification, efficient nanoparticle-based drug delivery and oil recovery, and many more.

Involved Graduate Students (Present): Harnoor Singh Sachar, Turash Haque Pial, Vishal Sankar Sivasankar, Parth Rakesh Desai, Sai Ankit Etha

Involved Graduate Students (Past): Guang Chen, Jahin Patwary, Raja Maheedhara

Thesis resulting from this topic: NANOCONFINED POLYELECTROLYTE BRUSHES: THERMODYNAMICS, ELECTROSTATICS AND TRANSPORT (PhD Thesis of Ms. Guang Chen); ENHANCED DIFFUSIOOSMOSIS AND THERMOOSMOSIS IN POLYELECTROLYTE-BRUSH-FUNCTIONALIZED NANOCHANNELS (MS Thesis of Mr. Raja Maheedhara); ENERGY CONVERSION IN NANOCHANNELS GRAFTED WITH POLYELECTROLYTE AND POLYZWITTERION BRUSHES (MS Thesis of Mr. Jahin Patwary)

Sponsors: DOE (Office of Science)

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