Cornell University

During the spring semester, in-person concerts, events and lectures that involve outside guests will not be held, per the university’s COVID-19 travel and visitor policy.

Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Series

Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 4:00pm

Virtual Event

Molecular Understanding, Design and Development of Zwitterionic Materials

Shaoyi Jiang, Ph.D.

Robert S. Langer ’70 Family and Friends Professor

Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

Cornell University

An important challenge in many applications is the prevention of unwanted nonspecific biomolecular and microorganism attachment on surfaces. To address this challenge, our goals are twofold. First, we strive to provide a fundamental understanding of nonfouling mechanisms at the molecular level. Second, we aim to develop biocompatible materials based on the molecular principles learned. As a result, we have shown that zwitterionic materials and surfaces are highly resistant to nonspecific protein adsorption and microorganism attachment from complex media. Typical zwitterionic materials include poly(carboxybetaine), poly(sulfobetaine), poly(trimethylamine N-oxide), and glutamic acid (E) and lysine (K)-containing poly(peptides). Unlike poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), there exist diversified zwitterionic molecular structures to accommodate various properties and applications. Furthermore, zwitterionic materials are super-hydrophilic while their PEG counterparts are amphiphilic.

In this talk, in addition to design principles, I will discuss the application of zwitterionic material to implants, stem cell cultures for controlled preservation/expansion/differentiation, medical devices and drug delivery carriers. With zwitterionic coatings, hydrogels or nanoparticles, results show no capsule formation upon subcutaneous implantation in mice for one year, expansion of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) without differentiation, no anti-coagulants needed for artificial lungs in sheep, and no antibodies generated against zwitterionic polymers. Currently, we are performing a fundamental study of material interactions with the immune system, developing immunomodulatory materials and safe/organ-targeting delivery carriers and translating our biomaterials to applications ranging from immunotherapy and vaccine to regenerative medicine.

Shaoyi Jiang joined the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell as the Robert S. Langer ’70 Family and Friends Professor in June 2020. Before Cornell, he was the Boeing-Roundhill Professor of Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering and an adjunct professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. He received his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1993. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley between 1993 and 1994 and a research fellow at California Institute of Technology between 1994 and 1996 both in chemistry. He is currently a senior editor for Langmuir (ACS journal) since 2010, an associate editor for Science Advances (a Science family journal from AAAS) since 2018, a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) since 2012, and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) since 2010. He received the Braskem Award for Excellence in Materials Engineering and Science, AIChE (2017). His research focuses on biomaterials, particularly highly biocompatible zwitterionic-based materials for biomedical and engineering applications.

For webinar information please contact Kyle Page (

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type

Seminar, Webinar


Materials Science and Engineering


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Kyle Page

Recent Activity