Nicholas Peppas is among a handful of prestigious researchers whose publications were featured in the inaugural issue of Nature Chemical Engineering. The article, A Bright Future in Medicine for Chemical Engineering, is co-authored with Professor Robert Langer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The researchers share their perspective on how chemical engineering principles will continue to have a positive impact on the design and optimization of new medical devices, treatments, and procedures. They specifically focus on biomaterials, artificial organs, and tissue engineering.

 Nicholas Peppas, UT Austin Texas engineering professor

The authors also reflect on a historical timeline of chemical engineering and the future opportunities it will have on healthcare. One of the significant driving forces will be the design of "intelligent carriers" to deliver medications to patients at will. Additionally, as artificial intelligence shapes the world around us, the technology is highlighted as a tool to aid chemical engineers in developing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Lastly, advancements in computation, molecular design, and thermodynamic models that already exist in chemical engineering will be applied to the solution of medical problems.

Peppas is a professor in the Cockrell School's McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the director of the Institute for Biomaterials, Drug Delivery and Regenerative Medicine at UT Austin.

Nature Chemical Engineering is a new, monthly online journal that debuted on January 11, 2024. The exclusively online publication aims to highlight various aspects of chemical engineering — from fundamental scientific advancements to the design, scale-up, and optimization of chemical processes that impact society.