Professor, Chemical Engineering; University Research Chair

Research interests: targeted drug and gene delivery; interfacial engineering; bio-medical engineering; polymer synthesis; energy storage and rechargeable batteries


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

At the centre are studies of the molecular self-assembly and interfacial phenomena in multiphase systems where nanomaterials or biomolecules in different states (or phases) co-exist and interact with one another.

The current effort is 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 problems in nanomedicine, biomaterials, colloid and surface science.

Practical applications include drug and gene delivery; peptide-DNA/RNA binding; protein-lipid interactions, lipid bilayer and cell membrane actions; therapeutic lung surfactants; emulsification, coating, painting, and thin films; surface mass and heat transfer; molecular/microsensors; nanotube membranes and bioseparation; biofuel cells; molecular sensing and nanocellular foaming of polymers.

Chen is a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo.


  • PhD, University of Toronto
  • MASc, University of Toronto
  • MSc, Nanjing University, China
  • BSc, Nanjing University, China

Pu Chen

    University of Waterloo