Chemical Engineering

Yakov Lapitsky



Laboratory website

2006 Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware
2001 B.Ch.E. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota
2001 B.S. Chemistry, University of Minnesota

Research Interests
Design, formation, characterization and application of polyelectrolyte-based soft materials: self-assembly of surfactant-polyelectrolyte mixtures, ionically crosslinked micro- and nanoparticles, gels and coacervates, directed assembly of polyelectrolyte complexes, 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. apply this understanding towards furthering their use in areas such as pharmaceutics and consumer product formulations.

Specifically, we are currently investigating: antibacterial surfactant-polyelectrolyte mixtures, polyelectrolyte-based particles, gels and coacervates for drug delivery, and directed assembly of “smart” polyelectrolyte complex microstructures.

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Contact Information
Phone: (419) 530-8254
Mailing address:
The University of Toledo
Department of Chemical Engineering (MS 305)
2801 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH 43606-3390
Physical address:
Office: Nitschke Hall room 3056
1610 N. Westwood Ave.
Toledo, OH 43606-3390

Last Updated: 6/27/22