Tirrell Group

Jeffrey Ting, PhD

  • NIST-ChiMaD Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Contact: jting1@uchicago.edu
    773.702.7063
  • Office Location:
    5640 South Ellis Avenue, Eckhardt Research Laboratory 108, Chicago, IL 60637

Dr. Jeffrey Ting received his BS degree in chemical engineering with high honors at the University of Texas in 2011, where he conducted research for Dr. C. Grant Willson. He joined the research groups of Dr. Frank S. Bates and Dr. Theresa M. Reineke at the University of Minnesota and earned his PhD in chemical engineering in 2016. During his graduate studies, Dr. Ting was a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, which supported his research in developing new polymer excipients for enhancing the solubility of therapeutics in oral drug delivery. His scientific work has impacted basic and applied polymer chemistry, including educational and outreach efforts for polymers research. Select awards highlighting his contributions to the field of oral drug delivery include the first annual AIChE Pharmaceutical Discovery, Development and Manufacturing Student Award and the Minnesota Sigma Xi Rising Star Award.

Currently, Dr. Ting is working with Dr. Matthew V. Tirrell at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering as a NIST-CHiMaD Postdoctoral Fellow, which is supported by the NIST Advanced Materials Center of Excellence program under the directive of President Obama’s 2011 Materials Genome Initiative. His project focuses on the structural evolution of polyelectrolyte complex assemblies, which can be used for intended bioapplications in gene therapy, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and theranostics. In 2018, his promising contributions were recognized by the first annual PMSE Future Faculty Scholars award.

Areas of research expertise:

  • Polymer science
  • Polyelectrolyte complex assemblies
  • Materials genome strategies and design
  • Responsive materials

Polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) form upon associative phase separation of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes in aqueous settings. These materials are highly versatile, with characteristics spanning from low-viscosity polymer solutions (commonly referred to as coacervates) to glassy, high modulus solids. This tunability, along with their relatively high water-content (30-90%), makes them appealing for a range of applications, including underwater bioadhesives, encapsulants for food science, and coatings technology. Furthermore, block polymer architectures can be employed to engineer self-assembled PEC-core micelles and hydrogels for applications in drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and theranostics. However, nearly all the important features of these materials are currently understood only at a qualitative level.

My current work involves studying the structural evolution, dynamics, and behavior of custom-built polymers as PECs in solution for new biomaterials applications. The goal of this work is to better understand how chain microstructures, properties, and hierarchical architectures affect the assembly mechanism and kinetics of entropy-driven PEC formation, which can range from PEC-core micelles to stimuli-responsive hydrogels.

This work is being conducted under the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD), a NIST Advanced Materials Center of Excellence program toward the goal of “Materials by Design” under President Obama’s 2011 Materials Genome Initiative (MGI).

Effect of mixed solvents on polyelectrolyte complexes with salt

Meng, S., Liu, Y., Yeo, J., Ting, J. M., & Tirrell, M. V. Effect of mixed solvents on polyelectrolyte complexes with salt. Colloid and Polymer Science, 1-8.

Assembly and Characterization of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles

Marras, A. E., Vieregg, J. R., Tirrell, M. V. Assembly and Characterization of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles. J. Vis. Exp. (157), e60894, doi:10.3791/60894 (2020).

Mechanism of Dissociation Kinetics in Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles

Wu, Hao, Jeffrey M. Ting, and Matthew V. Tirrell. "Mechanism of Dissociation Kinetics in Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles." Macromolecules (2019).

Amphiphilic Copolymer Inhibition of PNIPAM-PS Aggregation is HLB Dependent

Michelle X. Ling, Jeffrey M. Ting, Amanda B. Marciel, Matthew V. Tirrell, Raphael C. Lee, 2020. Amphiphilic Copolymer Inhibition of PNIPAM-PS Aggregation is HLB Dependent. Biophysical Journal 118 (3), 1992.

Integrating Systems Thinking into Teaching Emerging Technologies

Fowler, Whitney C., Jeffrey M. Ting, Siqi Meng, Lu Li, and Matthew V. Tirrell. "Integrating Systems Thinking into Teaching Emerging Technologies." Journal of Chemical Education (2019).

Controlling Complex Coacervation via Random Polyelectrolyte Sequences

Rumyantsev, Artem M., Nicholas E. Jackson, Boyuan Yu, Jeffrey M. Ting, Wei Chen, Matthew V. Tirrell, and Juan J. de Pablo. "Controlling complex coacervation via random polyelectrolyte sequences." ACS Macro Letters 8, no. 10 (2019): 1296-1302.

Controlling Complex Coacervation via Random Polyelectrolyte Sequences

Rumyantsev, Artem M., et al. "Controlling Complex Coacervation via Random Polyelectrolyte Sequences." ACS Macro Letters 8.10 (2019): 1296-1302.

Interparticle Interactions in Dilute Solutions of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles

Wu, Hao, Jeffrey M. Ting, Thomas M. Weiss, and Matthew V. Tirrell. "Interparticle Interactions in Dilute Solutions of Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles." ACS Macro Letters 8 (2019): 819-825.

Polyelectrolyte complexation of oligonucleotides by charged hydrophobic–neutral hydrophilic block copolymers

Marras, A. E., Vieregg, J. R., Ting, J. M., Rubien, J. D., Tirrell, M. V.. Polyelectrolyte complexation of oligonucleotides by charged hydrophobic–neutral hydrophilic block co. Polymers. 2019. Vol. 11, Pg. 83.

Non-equilibrium phenomena and kinetic pathways in self-assembled polyelectrolyte complexes

Hao Wu, Jeffrey M. Ting, Olivia Werba, Matthew V. Tirrell. Non-equilibrium phenomena and kinetic pathways in self-assembled polyelectrolyte complexes. Journal of Chemical Physics . 2018. Vol. 149, Pg. 163330.

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