Robert D. Tilton-Chemical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Robert D. Tilton

Professor, Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

Office: Doherty Hall 2100B
Phone: 412-268-1159
Fax: 412-268-7139

Bio

A member of the faculty since 1992, Professor Robert Tilton holds a joint appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering and in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and serves as Director of the Center for Complex Fluids Engineering. He earned the B.Ch.E. from the University of Delaware in 1986, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University in 1987 and 1991, respectively. His Ph.D. research was supervised by Professors Alice Gast and Channing Robertson and was recognized by the 1993 Victor K. LaMer Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Colloid and Surface Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. Following his Ph.D. he conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Physical Chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.  He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Professor Tilton has served as a regular member of the NIH Nanotechnology Study Section and as Scientific Council to CODIRECT, the Institute Excellence Centre for Controlled Release and Delivery at the Institute for Surface Chemistry in Stockholm. He has held several leadership positions in the American Chemical Society Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, including Victor K. LaMer Award Committee Chair, Symposium Committee Chair, and Division Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect and Chair. He now serves as Councilor. In 2001 he co-chaired the ACS Colloid and Surface Science Symposium at Carnegie Mellon University and will co-chair the symposium on campus again in 2015.

Education

Postdoctoral, Physical Chemistry, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 1991-1992

Ph.D., ChE, 1991, Stanford University

M.S., ChE, 1987, Stanford University

B.Ch.E., ChE, 1986, University of Delaware

Research

Research in Professor Tilton's group addresses problems in complex fluid interfacial phenomena. Fundamental investigations of the structure and dynamics of macromolecules, surfactants and composite nanoparticles in suspension or adsorbed at solid or fluid interfaces supports application-driven research in environmental nanotechnology, aerosolized carriers for pulmonary drug delivery and high efficiency emulsifiers. The following are examples of current projects.

Nanoparticles with Grafted Polymer Brushes: Interfacial Fundamentals and Applications
The group has been developing nanoparticles with densely grafted polymer brushes as new types of surfactants. These composite nanoparticles have proven to be highly efficient emulsifiers and to reduce surface tension and impart dilatational elasticity at extremely low concentrations. Currently, the group is investigating structure, dynamics and interparticle interactions in adsorbed layers of brush-grafted nanoparticles at both fluid interfaces and solid/liquid interfaces.

Fate, Transport and Interactions of Engineered Nanomaterials in the Environment
The as yet unknown potential for environmental harm caused by engineered nanomaterials has motivated a rapidly growing body of research in the environmental implications of nanotechnology.  This group addresses interfacial processes that govern the fate, transport and microbiological interactions of nanomaterials. Particular attention is paid to the role of natural organic matter and nanoparticle surface coatings that mediate nanoparticle aggregation and adhesion to mineral or biological matrices in the environment.

Self-Dispersing Aerosolized Carriers for Pulmonary Drug Delivery
Patients with obstructive lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis typically suffer from persistent infections that resist treatment by systemically administered antibiotics. Aerosol delivery is appealing, but unfavorable airway fluid mechanics leads to drug deposition upstream of the infected sites and inadequate drug delivery.  An interdisciplinary team has been assembled to develop surfactant-laden aerosols that spread extensively in response to surface tension gradients they create on complex fluid subphases, in order that aerosolized drugs may reach infected sites after deposition on the pulmonary airway surface liquid. This project has motivated fundamental investigations of the spreading mechanics of surface active solutions on complex, miscible subphases.

Research Websites

Biomolecular Engineering
Complex Fluids Engineering
Research Group Site

Awards and Honors

•Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering 2013
•Fellow of the American Chemistry Society 2010
•Member of Nanotechnology Study Section, National Institutes of Health, 2009-2013
•YKI Ambassador, Institute for Surface Chemistry, Stockholm, Sweden, 2005
•Fourth Annual National Academy of Engineering Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering, invited participant, 1998
•National Science Foundation Career Award, 1996
•George Tallman Ladd Award for Excellence in Research, Carnegie Mellon University, 1995
•Victor K. LaMer Award, American Chemical Society Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, 1993
•DuPont Outstanding Young Faculty Award, 1992
•Chevron Fellow, Stanford University, 1987-1988
•Davis Fellow, Stanford University, 1986-1987
•Engineering Alumni Association Award, University of Delaware, 1986
•Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, 1985
•Phi Kappa Phi Interdisciplinary Honor Society, 1985
•Diamond Shamrock Corporation Scholarship, University of Delaware, 1985-1986
•Sharp Scholarship, University of Delaware, 1985-1986
•Junior Engineering Research Scholarship, University of Delaware, 1984-1985
•National Merit Scholarship, University of Delaware, 1982-1986

Publications

Recent Publications

Selected Publications

Full Publications

Recent Publications

R. D. Tilton,Y-R. Huang, M. Lamson and K. Matyjaszewski, "Enhanced interfacial activity of multi-arm poly(ethylene oxide) star polymers relative to linear poly(ethylene oxide) at fluid interfaces" (DOI 10.1039/c7cp02841e),Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

S.M. Wirth, A. Bertuccio, F. Cao, G.V. Lowry, R.D. Tilton “Inhibition of Bacterial Surface Colonization by Immobilized Silver Nanoparticles Depends Critically on the Planktonic Bacterial Concentration,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 467, 17-27 (2016). DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2015.12.049

S.S. Pai, F. Heinrich, A. Canady, T.M. Przybycien, R.D. Tilton, “Coverage-dependent morphology of PEGylated lysozyme layers adsorbed on silica,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 370, 170-175 (2012). doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2011.12.065

H.-J. Kim, T. Phenrat, R.D. Tilton, G.V. Lowry, “Effect of kaolinite, silica fines and pH on transport of polymer-modified zero valent iron nano-particles in heterogeneous porous media,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 370, 1-10 (2012). doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2011.12.059

T.E. Corcoran, H.M. Thomas, S. Garoff, R.D. Tilton, T.M. Przybycien, J.M. Pilewski, “Imaging the post-deposition dispersion of an inhaled surfactant aerosol,” Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, 25, 290-296 (2012). doi:10.1089/jamp.2011.0920

N.J. Alvarez, S.L. Anna, T. Saigal, R.D. Tilton, L.M. Walker, “Dynamics and rheology of polymer-grafted nanoparticles at air-water and xylene-water interfaces,” Langmuir 28, 8052-8063 (2012). DOI: 10.1021/la300737p

S. Louie, T. Phenrat, M. Small, R.D. Tilton, G.V. Lowry “Parameter identifiability in application of soft particle electrokinetic theory to determine polymer and polyelectrolyte coating thicknesses on colloids,” Langmuir 28, 10334-10347 (2012). DOI: 10.1021/la301912j

G. Dunér, E. Thormann, A. Dedinaite, P.M. Claesson, K. Matyjaszewski, R.D. Tilton, “Nanomechanical mapping of a high curvature polymer brush grafted from a rigid nanoparticle,” Soft Matter 8, 8312-8320 (2012). DOI:10.1039/C2SM26086G

R. Sharma, R. Kalita, E. Swanson, T. Corcoran, S. Garoff, T.M.  Przybycien, R.D. Tilton “Autophobing on liquid subphases driven by interfacial transport of amphiphilic molecules,” Langmuir 28, 15212?15221 (2012). DOI 10.1021/la303639w

S. M. Wirth, G.V. Lowry, R.D. Tilton “Natural organic matter alters biofilm tolerance to silver nanoparticles and dissolved silver,”  Environmental Science and Technology 46, 12687-12696 (2012). DOI 10.1021/es301521p

W. Li, Y. Yu, M. Lamson, M.S. Silverstein, R.D. Tilton, K. Matyjaszewski ”PEO-based star copolymers as stabilizers for water-in-oil or oil-in-water emulsions,” Macromolecules 45, 9419-9426 (2012). DOI 10.1021/ma3016773

T. Saigal, A. Yoshikawa, D. Kloss, M. Kato, P.L. Golas, K. Matyjaszewski, R.D. Tilton “Stable emulsions with thermally responsive microstructure and rheology using poly(ethylene oxide) star polymers as emulsifiers,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 394, 284-292 (2013). DOI 10.1016/j.jcis.2012.11.033

O. Krivosheeva, A. Dedinaite, M.  Linder, R. Tilton, P. Claesson “Kinetic and equilibrium aspects of adsorption and desorption of class II hydrophobins HFBI and HFBII at silicon oxynitride/water and air/water interfaces,” Langmuir 29, 2683-2691 (2013). DOI 10.1021/la3048888

T. Saigal, J.K. Riley, P.L. Golas, R. Bodvik, P.M. Claesson, K. Matyjaszewski, R.D. Tilton, “Poly(ethylene oxide) star polymer adsorption at the silica/aqueous interface and displacement by linear poly(ethylene oxide),” Langmuir 29, 3999-4007 (2013). DOI 10.1021/la305085a.

S. Louie, R.D. Tilton, G.V. Lowry, “Effects of molecular weight distribution and chemical properties of natural organic matter on gold nanoparticle aggregation,” Environmental Science and Technology 47, 4245-4254 (2013).  DOI 10.1021/es400137x

R. Sharma, T. Corcoran, S. Garoff, T.M. Przybycien, E. Swanson, R.D. Tilton, “Quasi-immiscible spreading of aqueous surfactant solutions on entangled aqueous polymer solution subphases,” ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 5, 5542-5549 (2013). DOI 10.1021/am400762q

Selected Publications

Emulsions and Fluid Interfaces

T. Saigal, H. Dong, K. Matyjaszewski, R.D. Tilton, “Pickering emulsions stabilized by nanoparticles with thermally responsive grafted polymer brushes,” Langmuir 26, 15200-15209 (2010). DOI: 10.1021/la1027898

T. Saigal, A. Yoshikawa, D. Kloss, M. Kato, P.L. Golas, K. Matyjaszewski, R.D. Tilton “Stable emulsions with thermally responsive microstructure and rheology using poly(ethylene oxide) star polymers as emulsifiers,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 394, 284-292 (2013). DOI 10.1016/j.jcis.2012.11.033

N.J. Alvarez, S.L. Anna, T. Saigal, R.D. Tilton, L.M. Walker, “Dynamics and rheology of polymer-grafted nanoparticles at air-water and xylene-water interfaces,” Langmuir 28, 8052-8063 (2012). DOI: 10.1021/la300737p

Adsorption of Complex Structures

S.S. Pai, B. Hammouda, K. Hong, D.C. Pozzo, T.M. Przybycien, R.D. Tilton, “The conformation of the poly(ethylene glycol) chain in mono-PEGylated lysozyme and mono-PEGylated human growth hormone,” Bioconjugate Chemistry 22, 2317-2323 (2011)

G. Dunér, E. Thormann, A. Dedinaite, P.M. Claesson, K. Matyjaszewski, R.D. Tilton, “Nanomechanical mapping of a high curvature polymer brush grafted from a rigid nanoparticle,” Soft Matter 8, 8312-8320 (2012). DOI:10.1039/C2SM26086G

T. Saigal, J.K. Riley, P.L. Golas, R. Bodvik, P.M. Claesson, K. Matyjaszewski, R.D. Tilton, “Poly(ethylene oxide) star polymer adsorption at the silica/aqueous interface and displacement by linear poly(ethylene oxide),” Langmuir 29, 3999-4007 (2013). DOI 10.1021/la305085a.

Environmental Aspects of Nanomaterials

T.L. Kirschling, K.B. Gregory, E.G. Minkley, Jr, G.V. Lowry, R.D. Tilton, “Impact of nanoscale zero valent iron on geochemistry and microbial populations in trichloroethylene contaminated aquifer materials,” Environmental Science and Technology 44, 3474–3480 (2010). DOI: 10.1021/es903744f

T.L. Kirschling, P.L. Golas, J.M. Unrine, K. Matyjaszewski, K.B. Gregory, G.V. Lowry, R.D. Tilton, “Microbial bioavailability of covalently bound polymer coatings on model engineered nanomaterials,” Environmental Science and Technology  45, 5253-5259 (2011). dx.doi.org/10.1021/es200770z

T. Phenrat, F. Fagerlund, T. Illangasekare, G.V. Lowry, R.D. Tilton, “Polymer-modified Fe0 nanoparticles target entrapped NAPL in two dimensional porous media: effect of particle concentration, NAPL saturation, and injection strategy" Environmental Science and Technology 45, 6102-6109 (2011). 10.1021/es200577n

S. M. Wirth, G.V. Lowry, R.D. Tilton “Natural organic matter alters biofilm tolerance to silver nanoparticles and dissolved silver,”  Environmental Science and Technology 46, 12687-12696 (2012). DOI 10.1021/es301521p

Complex Fluid Spreading Phenomena

R. Sharma, R. Kalita, E. Swanson, T. Corcoran, S. Garoff, T.M.  Przybycien, R.D. Tilton “Autophobing on liquid subphases driven by interfacial transport of amphiphilic molecules,” Langmuir 28, 15212?15221 (2012). DOI 10.1021/la303639w

R. Sharma, T. Corcoran, S. Garoff, T.M. Przybycien, E. Swanson, R.D. Tilton, “Quasi-immiscible spreading of aqueous surfactant solutions on entangled aqueous polymer solution subphases,” ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 5, 5542-5549 (2013). DOI 10.1021/am400762q

Full Publications