Peppas, Nicholas A. Sc.D.

Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering #6, Family Chair for Department Leadership #1
Professor of Chemical Engineering

Professor Nicholas Peppas in a suit

Office: BME 3.503C Mailing Address:
Phone: 512-471-6644 The University of Texas at Austin
Fax: 512-471-8227 Department of Chemical Engineering
Email: 200 E Dean Keeton St. Stop C0800
UT Mail: C0400 Austin, TX 78712-1801

Research Areas: Advanced Materials,Polymers & Nanotechnology, Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering and Computational Biomedical Engineering  and Biotechnology

Research Group Website                         

Research Presentation for Prospective Graduate Students

Educational Qualifications

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

Courses Taught

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 387M (G): “Mass Transfer”
BME 380J.2 (G): “Quantitative Physiology”
BME 385J.4 (G): “Advances in Biomaterials Science and Engineering”
BME 385J (G) and ChE 384 (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.


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 the five “Medicine Makers of 2017” Worldwide, 2017; List of 100 Best Materials Scientists in the World, 2017; Life Achievements and Service, Controlled Release Society, 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, 2016; Elected to the National Materials and Manufacturing Board, 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, ASEE, 2013; Founders Award, National Academy of Engineering, 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  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; Elected to the 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, MRS, 2008; Pierre Galletti Award, 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 National Academy of Engineering, 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, SFB, 2005; Elected Member of the French Academy of Pharmacy, 2005; Research Excellence Award for Best Research Paper, Univ Texas, 2004; President, 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, 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, 1987-88; Materials Engineering and Sciences Award, AIChE, 1984

Selected Publications

  •  JM Knipe, LE Strong, NA Peppas, Enzyme- and pH-Responsive Microencapsulated Nanogels for Oral Delivery of siRNA to Induce TNF-α Knockdown in the Intestine, Biomacromolecules, 17, 788-797 (2016).
  • S. D. Horava and N. A. Peppas, Design of pH-Responsive Biomaterials to Enable the Oral route of Hematological Factor IX, Ann Biomed Engin., 44, 1970-1982 (2016).
  • N.A. Peppas and J.R. Clegg, The Challenge to Improve the Response of Biomaterials to the Physiological Environment, Regen. Biomaterials, 3, 67-71 (2016).
  • H. Culver, S. Steichen, M. Herrera-Alonso, N. A. Peppas, Versatile Tool for Colloidal Stability and Surface Functionalization of Hydrophobic Nanomaterials, Langmuir, 32, 5629-5636 (2016).
  • M.C. Koetting, J.F. Guido, M. Gupta, A. Zhang, & N.A. Peppas. pH-responsive and enzymatically-responsive hydrogel microparticles for the oral delivery of therapeutic proteins: Effects of protein size, crosslinking density, and hydrogel degradation on protein delivery. J. Control. Release, 221, 18-25 (2016).
  • J.P. Shofner and N.A. Peppas, “Overview of Biodrug Delivery Systems: Disease Fundamentals, Delivery Problems and Strategic Approaches”, in “Biodrug Delivery Systems: Fundamentals, Applications and Clinical Development,” M. Morishita and K. Park, eds, 1-12, Informa Healthcare, New York, NY, 2016.
  • M. Morishita, E. S. Khafagy, J.P. Shofner, and N.A. Peppas, “Oral Delivery Systems”, in “Biodrug Delivery Systems: Fundamentals, Applications and Clinical Development,” M. Morishita and K. Park, eds, 172-186, Informa Healthcare, New York, NY, 2016.
  • M. I. Neves, M. E. Wechsler, M. E. Gomes, R. L. Reis, P. L. Granja, and N. A. Peppas, Molecularly Imprinted Intelligent Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications. Tissue Engineering Part B: Reviews, 23, 27-43 (2016).
  • A. S. Puranik, L. P. Pao, V. M. White, and N. A. Peppas,, Synthesis and Characterization of pH-Responsive Nanoscale Hydrogels for Oral Delivery of Hydrophobic Therapeutics, Europ. J. Pharm. Biopharm., 108, 196-213 (2016).
  • A. S. Puranik, L. P. Pao, V. M. White, and N. A. Peppas, , In Vitro Evaluation of pH-Responsive Nanoscale Hydrogels for the Oral Delivery of Hydrophobic Therapeutics, Ind. Engin. Chem. Res., 55, 10576-10590 (2016).
  • H. R. Culver, S. D. Steichen and N.A. Peppas, ” A Closer Look at the Impact of Molecular Imprinting on Adsorption Capacity and Selectivity for Protein Templates”, Biomacromolecules, 17, 4045-4053 (2016).
  • N.A. Peppas and A. Khademhosseini, Make Better, Safer Biomaterials, Nature, 540, 335-337 (2016).
  • S. D. Steichen, C. O’Connor, and N. A. Peppas, Development of a P((MAA-co-NVP)-g-EG) hydrogel platform for oral protein delivery: effects of hydrogel composition on environmental response and protein partitioning, Macromol. Biosci. DOI: 10.1002/mabi.201600266 (2017).
  • S. Horava and N.A. Peppas, Biodegradable Hydrophilic Carriers for the Oral Delivery of Hematological Factor IX for Hemophilia B Treatment, Intern. J. Pharmac, 514, 220-228 (2017).
  • H. Culver, J. Clegg and N.A. Peppas, Analyte-responsive Hydrogels: Intelligent Materials for Biosensing and Drug Delivery, Acc. Chemical Research, 50, 170-178, (2017).
  • S. Horava and N.A. Peppas, “Recent Advances in Hemophilia B Therapy”, Drug Delivery Transl. Res., 7, 359-371 (2017).
  • J. Vela-Ramirez, L. Sharpe and N.A. Peppas, “Current state and challenges in developing oral vaccines”, Adv Drug Deliv Revs, 114, 116-131 (2017).
  • M. Yoshida, N. Kamei, K. Muto, J. Kunisawa, K. Takayama, N. A. Peppas, M. Takeda-Morishita, “Complexation hydrogels as potential carriers in oral vaccine delivery systems”, Europ. J. Pharm. Biopharm., 112, 138-142 (2017)
  • C. O’Connor, S. Steichen, N.A. Peppas, Development and characterization of stimuli-responsive hydrogel microcarriers for oral protein delivery, J. Biomed. Mater. Res, A, 105, 1243-1251 (2017).
  • John R. Clegg, Justin X. Zhong, Afshan S. Irani, Joann Gu, David S. Spencer and Nicholas A. Peppas, Characterization of protein interactions with molecularly imprinted hydrogels that possess engineered affinity for high isoelectric point biomarkers, J. Biomed. Mater. Res, A, 105, 1565-1574, (2017).
  • JR Clegg, ME Wechsler, NA Peppas, “Vision for Functionally Decorated and Molecularly Imprinted Polymers in Regenerative Engineering, Regen. Engin. Transl. Medicine, 3, 166-175 (2017).
  • HR Culver, NA Peppas. Protein-Imprinted Polymers: The Shape of Things to Come? Chemistry of Materials 29, 5753–5761 (2017)
  •  H.R. Culver, I. Sharma, M.E. Wechsler, E.V. Anslyn and N.A. Peppas, “Charged poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) nanogels for use as differential protein receptors in a turbidimetric sensor array”, Analyst, 142, 3183-3193 (2017).
  • M.I. Neves, M.E. Wechsler, M.E. Gomes, R.L. Reis, P.L. Granja and N.A. Peppas, “Molecularly Imprinted Intelligent Scafolds for Tissue Engineering Applications”, Tissue Engineering, B, 23, 27-43 (2017).
  • J.T. Peters, S. Varghese, D. Subramanian, N.A. Peppas, “Surface Hydrolysis-Mediated PEGylation of Poly(isopropyl Acrylamide) Based Nanogels, Regen. Biomaterials, 4, 281-287 (2017).
  • J.T. Peters, S. S. Hutchinson, N. Lizana, I. Verma, N.A. Peppas, “Synthesis and characterization of poly(N-isopropyl methacrylamide) core/shell nanogels for controlled release of chemotherapeutics”, Chem. Eng. J., published DOI 10.1016/j.cej.2018.01.09 (2018).
  • L.A. Sharpe, J.E. Vela Ramirez, O.M. Haddadin, K.A. Ross, B. Narasimhan, N.A. Peppas, “pH-Responsive Microencapsulation Systems for the Oral Delivery of Polyanhydride Nanoparticles”, Biomacromolecules, 19, 793-802 (2018).
  • J.X. Zhong, J.R. Clegg, E.W. Ander, N.A. Peppas, “Tunable Poly(methacrylic acid-co-acrylamide) Nanoparticles Through Inverse Emulsion”, J. Biomed. Mater. Res., A, 106A, 1677–1686 (2018).
  • A.M. Wagner, M.P. Gran, N.A. Peppas, “Designing the New Generation of Intelligent Biocompatible Carriers for Protein and Peptide Delivery”, Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 8, 147-164 (2018).
  • Y Fukuoka, ES Khafagy, T Goto, N Kamei, K Takayama, NA Peppas, “Combination Strategy with Complexation Hydrogels and Cell-Penetrating Peptides for Oral Delivey of Insulin, Biol. Pharmac. Bull. 41, 811-814 (2018).
  • A.M. Wagner, D.S. Spencer, N.A. Peppas, “Advances Architectures in the Design of Responsive Polymers for Cancer Nanomedicine, J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 135, 46154 (2018).
  • 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, 2018.
  • 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, in press.
  • T. M. De Witte, L. Fratila-Apachitei, A. A. Zadpoor and N. A. Peppas, “Bone Tissue Engineering via Growth Factor Delivery: From Scaffolds to Complex Matrices”, Regen. Biomaterials, in press.
  • D.S. Spencer, B. C. Luu, D. W. Beckmann and N.A. Peppas, J. Polym. Sci., Polym. Chem, 56, 1536-1544 (2018).
  • H. F. Florindo, V. Sainz, L. I. Moura, C. Peres, A. I. Matos, A. S Viana, A. M. Wagner, J. E. Vela Ramirez, T. Barata, M. Gaspar, S. Brocchini, M. Zloh, N. A. Peppas, R. Satchi-Fainaro, “a- Galactosylceramide and Peptide-based Nano-vaccine Synergistically Induced a Strong Tumor Suppressive Effect in Melanoma”, Acta Biomaterialia, published on line DOI: