Pu Chen

University Research Chair & Professor
Pu Chen

Contact information

Phone: 519-888-4567 x35586
Location: QNC 4622


Pu Chen
Google Scholar

Biography summary

Pu Chen is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and a member of the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo. He is also the Canada Research Chair in Biomanufacturing.

Professor Chen’s research is at the interface of materials, biomedicine and energy. It involves the application of physical chemistry, surface thermodynamics, solid state physics, biochemistry and molecular cell biology to biomedical and chemical engineering systems.

He aims to design and measure the molecular interaction, nanostructure formation and adsorption kinetics of peptides, DNA, Small Interfering RNA (siRNA), proteins, surfactants and polymers in solution or at interfaces. The research applies techniques emerging from innovations in nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics and nano/microelectronics to issues found in nanomedicine, biomaterials, colloid and surface science.

Practical applications of Professor Chen’s research include drug and gene delivery; peptide-DNA/RNA binding; protein-lipid interactions, lipid bilayer and cell membrane actions; therapeutic lung surfactants; and emulsification, coating, painting, and thin films. His research also applies to surface mass and heat transfer; molecular/microsensors; nanotube membranes and bioseparation; biofuel cells; molecular sensing and nanocellular foaming of polymers. Professor Chen’s lab has significantly impacted the success of many emerging energy, biomedical and chemical technologies. His research has also resulted in the creation of a start-up company that works with nano-peptide technology.

In addition to Professor Chen’s research work, he is the author and co-author of over 240 refereed journal publications. He has also written “Molecular Interfacial Phenomena of Polymers and Biopolymers”, as well as numerous book chapters.

Research interests

  • Nanotechnology & Nanomedicine
  • Biochemical & Biomedical
  • Separation Processes
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Thermodynamics
  • Drug and Gene Delivery (siRNA and anticancer)
  • Microscopy
  • Interfacial Phenomena
  • Colloids & Porous Media
  • Energy
  • Materials Science
  • Surface Thermodynamics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Water


  • 1998, Doctorate, Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto
  • 1993, Master's, Materials Science, University of Toronto
  • 1988, Bachelor of Science (BSc), Materials Science, Nanjing University
  • 1985, Bachelor's, Physics, Nanjing University


  • CHE 231 - Physical Chemistry 2
    • Taught in 2019
  • CHE 331 - Electrochemical Engineering
    • Taught in 2022
  • NE 100 - Introduction to Nanotechnology Engineering
    • Taught in 2021

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/recent publications

  • P. Sadatmousavi, M. Soltani, R. Nazariann, M. Jafari and P. Chen, "Self-assembling peptides: potential role in tumor targeting," Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, (accepted, 2010).
  • M. Yan, D. Yang, Y. Deng, H. Lou, P. Chen and X. Qiu, "Influence of pH on the behavior of lignosulfonate macromolecules in aqueous solution," Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. & Eng. Aspects, 371, 50-58 (2010).
  • Young-Mi Hwang, Peter Stathopulos, Kristin Dimmick, Hong Yang, Hamid Badiei, Mingsze Tong, Jessica Rumfeldt, P. Chen, Vassili Karanassios, and Elizabeth Meiering, "Pathological aggregation from the holo state of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase in ALS," J. Biol. Chem., (accepted, 2010).
  • Hasan, M.M., Li, Y.G., Li, G., Park, C.B., Chen, P. and Simha, R., "Determination of Solubilities of CO2 in Linear and Branched Polypropylene Using a Magnetic Suspension Balance and a PVT Apparatus," Journal of Chemical Engineering Data, 55 (11), 4885-4895 (2010).
  • Y. Sheng, W. Wang and P. Chen, "Interaction of an ionic complementary peptide with a hydrophobic graphic surface," Protein Science, (accepted, 2010).

Graduate studies