News and Announcements

  • Award Winning Posters!
    RPS Lab at the URI CHE Department Symposium
    Mohammadjavad Hajirezaei (2nd from left) and Elnaz Nikoumanesh (middle)

    Last week, the RPS lab presented their work at the annual URI Department of Chemical Engineering Research Symposium. With some fantastic posters all around, a number of our lab members received poster awards:


    Charles Jouaneh, 2nd Place, Characterization of cellulose nanofiber-based gels for applications as an extrusion-based bioprinting ink

    Colby Constantine, 3rd Place, Characterizing Nanoparticle Dynamics in Biorelevant Materials to Predict Epithelial Transport Properties of Orally Administered Medications

    Graduate Students:

    Elnaz Nikoumanesh, 1st Place, Unveiling the Role of Physicochemical Bonds on Yield Stress and Thixotropy

    Mohammadjavad Hajirezaei, 3rd Place, Investigating the Long-Term Performance of Polymeric Liner

    Congratulations to all of our students for their hard work and accomplishments this semester!

  • Students present at URI’s Engineering Week

    RPS Lab members presented their work during Engineering Week at URI. This week was established to showcase the innovative research being conducted in the College of Engineering and to build a supportive community of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers. The projects presented from our group include:

    • Masoud Abdi: Innovative Sensor Technologies Using Self-Oscillating Nanoparticles
    • Sean Cooper and Elias Newall-Vuillemot: Design of Complex Fluids for 3D Printing Applications
    • Aiden Ferreira and Maile Campbell: Manufacture of Polymer Samples for Analysis of Stability in Natural Gas Environments
    • Matthew Mellor: Synthetic, Compartmentalized Colloids for Tunable, Biomimetic Structures
    • Mohammadjavad Hajirezaei: Investigating the Long-Term Performance of Polymeric Liners
    • Daniel Keane: Biomimetic, Polymer-Linked Emulsions
    • Elnaz Nikoumanesh: Establishing a Clear and Unambiguous Definition of the Yield Stress in Thixotropic Materials
  • Graduate students receive travel awards

    Daniel Keane, CHE PhD ’24, and Elnaz Nikoumanesh, CHE PhD ’25, have both received travel awards from the Division of Polymer Physics (DPOLY) to attend the Additive Manufacturing Short Course at the American Physical Society March Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. Elnaz also received a travel award from the Division of Soft Matter (DSOFT) to attend the March Meeting.

    Daniel and Elnaz will both be presenting contributed talks and posters, engaging with world leaders across disciplines in physics.

    Congratulations to both students for receiving these awards recognizing their hard work and contributions to soft matter and polymer physics!

  • RPS Lab Research Featured at AIChE
    Nanoparticle transport in biomimetic polymer-linked emulsions, AIChE Journal, 2024

    The American Institute of Chemical Engineers recently highlighted our research on the cover of AIChE Journal and in a feature in Chemical Engineering Processes magazine.

    Our work aims to understand how nanoparticles penetrate and transport through biological tissues so that we can better design and innovate drug delivery strategies. To accomplish this task, we developed a new class of biomimetic materials known as polymer-linked emulsions which replicate both the structure and mechanics of soft tissues. A team of graduate and undergraduate students – Daniel Keane, Colby Constantine, and Matthew Mellor – then conducted optical tracking measurements in these materials to demonstrate that we sufficiently replicate biologically relevant transport properties. Future work will establish correlations between the in vitro transport observed in polymer-linked emulsions and in vivo transport observed in animal models to (1) better understand the mechanisms underlying nanoparticle transport, and (2) predict performance of drug delivery vectors.

  • RPS Lab Receives an NSF CAREER Award

    The National Science Foundation recently awarded our lab a grant titled “Telechelic triblock copolymers as a platform to design functional colloidal gels.” With these funds, totaling $589,933, we aim to develop transformative advances in the design of soft materials – specifically colloidal gels – with applications ranging from biomimicry to energy storage and additive manufacturing.

    Congratulations to all members of our research group for this prestigious award! New science awaits!

  • Undergraduate Colby Constantine Receives a (URI)^2 Grant
    Colby Constantine, CHE ’25

    Colby Constantine, CHE Class of 2025, has received a URI Undergraduate Research and Innovation (URI)2 grant totaling $1,000 for his project titled “Characterizing Nanoparticle Dynamics in Biorelevant Materials to Predict Epithelial Transport Properties of Orally Administered Medications.” This independent research project looks to extend our recent work on nanoparticle dynamics to predict penetration of orally administered medications across epithelial layers. The project is expected to start in Spring 2024 and conclude after an academic year. Congratulations, Colby!

  • Matthew Mellor Selected as a Future Leader in Chemical Engineering
    2023 Future Leaders in Chemical Engineering Awardees. Matthew Mellor back left.

    This October, Matthew Mellor, an undergraduate researcher in our lab, participated in the Future Leaders in Chemical Engineering Symposium hosted by North Carolina State University. This award recognized his substantial contributions to our lab and future potential in our field! Congratulations, Matt!

  • Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium (RI-SURS)

    The RPS lab had a strong showing at this year’s RI-SURS with four undergraduate students presenting posters! This annual event showcases the talented undergraduate students participating in summer research experiences throughout the state of Rhode Island.

    • David Amirsadri: Colloidal Gold Nanorods for Biological Sensing
    • Jonatan Flores: Nanoparticle Tracking in Biomimetic Soft Materials
    • Matthew Mellor: Synthetic, Compartmentalized Colloids for Tunable, Biomimetic Structures
    • Steven Rego: Liquid Crystal Elastomers: Tendon Replication in Exogloves
  • Elnaz Nikoumanesh awarded the URI Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Conference Travel Award

    Congratulations to Elnaz for receiving the 2023 URI Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Conference Travel Award! This award recognizes her presentations at the Society of Rheology Conference and the ACS Colloids and Surface Science Symposium over the last year.