Please visit the above links to have a more detailed look at our research projects. Below is a list of Centers that we are leading or affiliated with.

NSF MBM at UIUC - Miniature Brain Machinery

NSF STC EBICS at MIT/GT/UIUC - Emergent Behavior of Integrated Cellular Systems

NSF IGERT at UIUC - Cellular and Molecular Mechanics and Bionanotechnology
(download brochure)

NIH Training Grant at UIUC - Midwestern Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center
(download brochure)

NSF CiiT (I/UCRC) at UIUC - Center for Innovative Instrumentation Technology

NSF NSEC at OSU - Center for Affordable Nanoengineering for Polymeric Micro and Nanodevices



Micro-patterning of Polyethylene Glycol Containing Polymer Films for BioMEMS and BioChip Applications:

Jennifer Ward, Nick Peppes, School of Chemical Engineering
Rashid Bashir, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907

We have developed novel techniques for the preparation of micropatterned structures from thin films prepared by the block copolymerization of monomers using UV free-radical polymerizations. The process involves polymerizing the first monomer layer in the presence of an iniferter (initiator-transfer agent-terminator) with a dithiocarbamate group to make a photosensitive polymer. Upon application of a second monomer layer on the first polymer layer and irradiation, a copolymer is formed between the two layers. Patterns are created on the films by applying a mask and selectively irradiating the surface. We have successfully polymerized poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) onto a highly crosslinked material of poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate. Various patterns have been created to determine the precision that can be achieved with this method. Preliminary results show that the patterns in the second monomer layer can be from 5 mm to 100 mm thick, with feature size as small as 5mm, allowing the use of this material to high aspect ratio structures for micro-fluidics. In addition, applications of this type of material are also in bioMEMS, biomaterials, and biosensors for the selective adhesion of cells and proteins.


[1] Jennifer H. Ward, Rafael Gomez, Rashid Bashir, Nicholas A. Peppas, “Novel Patterned Films by Free-Radical Polymerization Techniques”, American Physical Society Meeting, March 20th, 2000, Minneapolis, MN.
[2] Jennifer H. Ward, Rafael Gomez, Rashid Bashir, Nicholas A. Peppas, “Novel Patterned Films by Free-Radical Polymerization Techniques”, SPIE’s 45th Annual Meeting, International Symposium on Optical Science and Technology, July 30th-Aug 4th, 2000. San Daigo, CA.
[3] Jennifer H. Ward, Rashid Bashir, Nicholas A. Peppas, “Patterned Poly(ethylene glycol)-Containing Films by UV Free-Radical Polymerization Techniques”, 2000 Annual Meeting of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Westin Bonaventure/Marriott Downtown Los Angeles, CA. November 12th-17th, 2000.
[4] J. Ward, R. Bashir, and N. Peppes, “Micropatterning of Biomedical Polymer Surfaces by Novel UV Polymerization Techniques”, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Volume 56, Issue: 3, 24th Apr 2001, Pages: 351-360
Funded by an NSF IGERT Student Grant