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Current Research Interests: Design, formation, characterization and application of polyelectrolyte-based soft materials: self-assembly of ionically crosslinked micro- and nanoparticles, gels and coacervates, directed assembly of polyelectrolyte complexes, surfactant-polyelectrolyte mixtures, drug delivery.


Recent advances in chemical product design, medicine and nanotechnology have ushered in a new age of “smart” materials that respond to external stimuli such as changes in pH, ionic strength or temperature, and mechanical or electromagnetic perturbations. Stimulus-responsive polyelectrolyte complexes are routinely used as building blocks for these materials and find countless applications in foods, cosmetic product formulations, controlled release, biomaterials, medical imaging, sensors, energy, and water treatment. Despite their omnipresence in today’s commercial and technological landscape, however, many uses of these materials are limited by the incomplete understanding of their physicochemical properties and the design variables (both process and formulation) that control them. To this end, our research aims to (1) advance the mechanistic understanding of the molecular, colloidal and macroscopic properties of polyelectrolyte-based materials and (2) to apply this understanding towards furthering their use in areas such as pharmaceutics and consumer product formulations. Specifically, our current focus is on three areas: soft material/complex fluid design from polyelectrolyte-multivalent counterion mixtures, mechanistic analysis of polyelectrolyte-based pharmaceutical colloids, and directed assembly of polyelectrolyte complex structures and devices.



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Phone: 419-530-8254

Fax: 419-530-8086

E-mail: yakov.lapitsky@utoledo.edu