Joseph M. DeSimone

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Election Year: 2012
Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Secondary Section: 31, Engineering Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

DeSimone, an innovative polymer chemist, has made breakthrough contributions in green chemistry, fluoropolymer synthesis, colloid science, and nano-biomaterials. He pioneered supercritical CO2-based polymerization reactions and the self-assembly of molecules in compressible media. He has shown the benefit of novel fluoro-elastomers for soft lithographic applications, including the synthesis of shape-controlled nano-biomaterials. In 2005 he and his students invented the PRINT (Particle Replication In Non-wetting Templates) technology, enabling DeSimone to launch Liquidia Technologies, Inc. which now focuses on the development of new vaccines. PRINT is a continuous, roll-to-roll high resolution molding technique that allows for the fabrication of precisely defined micro- and nano-particles with control over chemical composition, size, shape, deformability, and surface chemistry. In addition to novel vaccines, applications of PRINT are being explored for next generation cancer therapies, inhalation therapies, environmentally friendly marine coatings, and synthetic blood. Known for his ability to bridge different fields and innovate in new areas, DeSimone developed PRINT through the fusion of the precision manufacturing processes found in the microelectronics industry with the continuous, roll-to-roll web based processes from the photographic film industry. Other areas of focus for DeSimone include medical devices, the role diversity plays in the innovation process, and university-based entrepreneurship.

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