Bio-nano Interfaces, Functional Materials & Biotechnologies Laboratory


We focus on fundamental studies of interfacial phenomena (adsorption, docking, charge transfer, self-assembling and complex gas-surface or liquid-surface chemical reactions), especially those related with bio-nano hybrids, for the purpose of developing functional materials and biotechnologies to tackle challenges in health, energy and environment. To achieve process-structure-function design, we combine our house-developed multiscale simulation framework (quantum, atomistic, mesoscopic and continuum scales) with theories (Statistical Mechanics and quantum) and experiments at the interface between chemistry, physics and biology. Based on the fundamental studies, our lab is working on four specific areas: 1) biomaterials (peptide mimics/proteins, DNA/RNA/nucleic acids and lipids) and biotechniques (biosensors, drug delivery, bioremediation and bioenergy); 2) polymer-nanoparticle composite materials for water treatment and semiconducting polymers for polymer photovoltaics; 3) materials at severe conditions (such as high temperature and high pressure) for energy applications; 4) low-dimensional or nanoporous materials (such as graphene sheet(s), CNT, zeolites and MOFs) for biosensing, energy and pollution control (water/air).

Our research projects about interfacial phenomena (Biosensing, Polymer Membrane and Biointerfacial Electron Transfer) have been given media highlights on NSF, NSF/Xsede, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and many scientific news reports ( (11/30); (11/29); (11/29); (11/30); (11/30); (11/29); (12/01); (12/02); (12/02); (11/30); (11/30); (11/29); (11/29); (12/28); (11/30)):
‚Äč"Deep Insights From Surface Reactions" [Full Report] [PDF File]

More information on research projects.


Our current research team comprises the diverse and multidisciplinary expertise of a postdoctoral scholar, graduate and undergraduate students. Our team members have specialized in the varied areas of chemistry, biology and chemical engineering. More information on team members.


The lab has published peer-reviewed papers and given conference reports in ACS, AIP and AICHE. More information on research publications.


The lab has received grants and computational resources from several federal agencies and national laboratories. More information on this support.


Associate Professor Preethi Chandran Awarded $500K NSF Grant for Biological Research

Tue, September 29, 2020

Chemical Engineering Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Preethi Chandran, Ph.D., received a $500K grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Excellence in Research (EiR) program to study the biophysics of the shield of sugars (glycans) that typically covers pathogens.Read More >>

Associate Professor Preethi Chandran Partners with Heart of Tabitha Foundation on STEM and College Readiness Workshop

Fri, September 11, 2020

The Heart of Tabitha Foundation partnered with Howard University Chemical Engineering Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Preethi Chandran, Ph.D., and Catholic University Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Otto Wilson, Ph.D., to continue offering its annual summer workshop for local high school students in a virtual setting. The workshop focused on college readiness and STEM careers and featured speakers from several professions. Read More >>


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