Our research currently focuses on: (1) development of polymer-based drug/gene delivery and imaging agents, (2) understanding of the complex behavior of charged polymers (“polyelectrolytes”), (3) investigations on interfacial phenomena of polymers (with emphasis on polymer/polyelectrolyte brushes, and Langmuir monolayers of polymers), and (4) fabrication of complex functional structures by self-assembly of colloids and block copolymers. Last updated on June 30, 2014.





1)        H. Kim, J. Lee, Y.-Y. Won, “A Simple Derivation of the Critical Condition for the Ultrasonic Atomization of Polymer Solutions”, submitted, 2014.


2)        H. Lee, P. G. Schweickert, S. F. Konieczny, Y.-Y. Won, “RNAi-Assisted Gene Delivery”, submitted, 2014.


3)        V. Tsouris, M. K. Joo, S. H. Kim, I. C. Kwon, Y.-Y. Won, “Nano Carriers That Enable Co-Delivery of Chemotherapy and RNAi Agents for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Cancers”, Biotechnology Advances in press, 2014 (DOI: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2014.05.006).


4)        H. Lee, V. Tsouris, Y. Lim, R. Mustafa, J. Choi, Y. H. Choi, H.-W. Park, M. Meron, B. Lin, Y.-Y. Won, “Macroscopic Lateral Heterogeneity Observed in a Laterally-Mobile Immiscible Mixed Polyelectrolyte/Neutral Polymer Brush”, Soft Matter 10, 3771-3782, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00022F).


5)        H. Lee, Y. Kim, P. G. Schweickert, S. F. Konieczny, Y.-Y. Won, “A Photo-Degradable Gene Delivery System for Enhanced Nuclear Gene Transcription”, Biomaterials 35(3), 1040-1049, 2014 (DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.10.030).


6)        Y.-Y. Won, H. Lee, ““pH Phoresis”: A New Concept That Can Be Used for Improving Drug Delivery to Cancer Cells”, Journal of Controlled Release 170(3), 396-400, 2013 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.06.016). See "Nanoparticles, 'pH phoresis' could improve cancer drug delivery" in Purdue News (July 8, 2013).


7)        D. J. Gary, J. Min, Y. Kim, K. Park, Y.-Y. Won, “The Effect of N/P Ratio on the In Vitro and In Vivo Interaction Properties of PEGylated Poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)-Based siRNA Complexes”, Macromolecular Bioscience 13(8), 1059-1071, 2013 (DOI: 10.1002/mabi.201300046).


8)        H. W. Park, J. Choi, K. Ohn, H. Lee, J. W. Kim, Y.-Y. Won, “Study of the Air-Water Interfacial Properties of Biodegradable Polyesters and Their Block Copolymers with Poly(ethylene glycol)”, Langmuir 28(31), 11555-11566, 2012 (DOI: 10.1021/la300810q).


9)        H. Lee, D. H. Kim, K. N. Witte, K. Ohn, J. Choi, B. Akgun, S. Satija, Y.-Y. Won, “Water is a Poor Solvent for Densely Grafted Poly(ethylene oxide) Chains: A Conclusion Drawn from a Self-Consistent Field Theory-Based Analysis of Neutron Reflectivity and Surface Pressure-Area Isotherm Data”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 116(24), 7367-7378, 2012 (DOI: 10.1021/jp301817e).


10)     H. Lee, D. H. Kim, H.-W. Park, N. A. Mahynski, K. Kim, M. Meron, B. Lin, Y.-Y. Won, “Reduced Water Density in a Poly(ethylene oxide) Brush”, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 3, 1589-1595, 2012 (DOI: 10.1021/jz3002772).


11)     D. H. Kim, A. Wei, Y.-Y. Won, “Preparation of Super-Stable Gold Nanorods via Encapsulation into Block Copolymer Micelles”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 4(4), 1872-1877, 2012 (DOI: 10.1021/am300198v).


12)     R. Nap, Y.-Y. Won, I. Szleifer, “Confinement Induced Lateral Segregation of Polymer Coated Nanospheres”, Soft Matter 8(5), 1688-1700, 2012 (DOI: 10.1039/c2sm06549e).


13)     D. H. Kim, Y.-Y. Won, “In Situ-Polymerized Carbon Nanotube/Polyimide Nanocomposites: Effect of Reaction Stoichiometry on the Glass Transition Properties of the Nanocomposites”, Macromolecular Reaction Engineering 6(1), 45-56, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/mren.201100027). This article has been highlighted on the front cover of the journal.


14)     D. J. Gary, H. Lee, R. Sharma, J.-S. Lee, Y. Kim, Z. Y. Cui, D. Jia, V. D. Bowman, P. R. Chipman, L. Wan, Y. Zou, G. Mao, K. Park, B.-S. Herbert, S. F. Konieczny, Y.-Y. Won, “Influence of Nano-Carrier Architecture on In Vitro siRNA Delivery Performance and In Vivo Biodistribution: Polyplexes vs. Micelleplexes”, ACS Nano 5(5), 3493-3505, 2011 (DOI: 10.1021/nn102540y).


15)     H. Lee, S. H. Son, R. Sharma, Y.-Y. Won, “A Discussion of the pH-Dependent Protonation Behaviors of Poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) and Poly(ethylenimine-ran-2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) (P(EI-r-EOz))”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 115(5), 844-860, 2011 (DOI: 10.1021/jp109151s).


16)     U. S. Kestur, H. Lee, D. Santiago, C. Rinaldi, Y.-Y. Won, L. S. Taylor, “Effects of the Molecular Weight and Concentration of Polymer Additives, and Temperature on the Melt Crystallization Kinetics of a Small Drug Molecule”, Crystal Growth & Design 10(8), 3585-3595, 2010 (DOI: 10.1021/cg1004853).


17)     J. Hur, N. A. Mahynski, Y.-Y. Won, “Crystallization of Bidisperse Repulsive Colloids in Two-Dimensional Space: A Study of Model Systems Constructed at the Air-Water Interface”, Langmuir 26(14), 11737-11749, 2010 (DOI: 10.1021/la101313r).


18)     K. N. Witte, S. Kewalramani, I. Kuzmenko, W. Sun, M. Fukuto, Y.-Y. Won, “Formation and Collapse of Single-Monomer-Thick Monolayers of Poly(n-Butyl Acrylate) at the Air-Water Interface”, Macromolecules 43(6), 2990-3003, 2010 (DOI: 10.1021/ma901842q).


19)     J. Hur, K. N. Witte, W. Sun, Y.-Y. Won, “On the Origins of the Salt-Concentration-Dependent Instability and Lateral Nanoscale Heterogeneities of Weak Polyelectrolyte Brushes: Gradient Brush Experiment, and Flory-Type Theoretical Analysis”, Langmuir 26(3), 2021-2034, 2010 (DOI: 10.1021/la902549b).


20)     Y.-Y. Won, R. Sharma, S. F. Konieczny, “Missing Pieces in Understanding the Intracellular Trafficking of Polycation/DNA Complexes”, Journal of Controlled Release 139(2), 88-93, 2009 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2009.06.031); Journal of Controlled Release 152(2), 326, 2009 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.04.003).


21)     K. N. Witte, S. Kim, Y.-Y. Won, “Self-Consistent Field Theory Study of the Effect of Grafting Density on the Height of a Weak Polyelectrolyte Brush”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 113(32), 11076-11084, 2009 (DOI: 10.1021/jp809814j).


22)     K. N. Witte, J. Hur, W. Sun, S. Kim, Y.-Y. Won, “Evidence of Lateral Nanoscale Heterogeneities in Weak Polyelectrolyte Brushes”, Macromolecules 41(23), 8960-8963, 2008 (DOI: 10.1021/ma801412u).


23)     R. Sharma, J.-S. Lee, R. C. Bettencourt, C. Xiao, S. F. Konieczny, Y.-Y. Won, “Effects of the Incorporation of a Hydrophobic Middle Block into a PEG-Polycation Diblock Copolymer on the Physicochemical and Cell Interaction Properties of the Polymer-DNA Complexes”, Biomacromolecules 9(11), 3294-3307, 2008 (DOI: 10.1021/bm800876v).


24)     J. Hur, Y.-Y. Won, “Fabrication of High-Quality Non-Close-Packed 2D Colloid Crystals by Template-Guided Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) Particle Deposition”, Soft Matter 4(6), 1261-1269, 2008 (DOI: 10.1039/b716218a). See "Self-assembling Method Could Lead to Inexpensive Diamond-like Crystals for Technology" in ScienceDaily (April 22, 2008). This article was one of the ten most downloaded Soft Matter articles for April 2010 (


25)     J. Hur, Y.-Y. Won, “Two-Dimensional Colloid Crystals Templated by Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Patterns”, Langmuir 24(10), 5382-5392, 2008 (DOI: 10.1021/la704050t).


26)     K. N. Witte, Y.-Y. Won, “Effect of Interfacial Curvature on Mixed Polyelectrolyte and Neutral Polymer Brushes: An SCF Numerical Analysis”, Macromolecules 41(7), 2735-2738, 2008 (DOI: 10.1021/ma071682e).


27)     Y. Zhao, M. T. Carvajal, Y.-Y. Won, M. T. Harris, “Preparation of Calcium Alginate Microgel Beads by an Electrodispersion Reactor Using an Internal Source of Calcium Carbonate Nanoparticles”, Langmuir 23(25), 12489-12496, 2007 (DOI: 10.1021/la701795y).


28)     D. Zhu, M. A. Haidekker, J.-S. Lee, Y.-Y. Won, J. C.-M. Lee, “Application of Molecular Rotors to the Determination of the Molecular Weight-Dependence of Viscosity in Polymer Melts”, Macromolecules 40(21), 7730-7732, 2007 (DOI: 10.1021/ma0702288).


29)     D. J. Gary, N. Puri, Y.-Y. Won, “Polymer-Based siRNA Delivery: Perspectives on the Fundamental and Phenomenological Distinctions from Polymer-Based DNA Delivery”, Journal of Controlled Release 121(1-2), 64-73, 2007 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2007.05.021).


30)     K. N. Witte, Y.-Y. Won, Self-Consistent Field (SCF) Analysis of Mixed Polyelectrolyte and Neutral Polymer Brushes”, Macromolecules 39(22), 7757-7768, 2006 (DOI: 10.1021/ma0608370).


31)     R. Sharma, A. Goyal, J. M. Caruthers, Y.-Y. Won, Inhibitive Chain Transfer to Ligand in the ATRP of n-Butyl Acrylate”, Macromolecules 39(14), 4680-4689, 2006 (DOI: 10.1021/ma060374y).


32)     Y.-Y. Won, S. P. Meeker, V. Trappe, D. A. Weitz, N. Z. Diggs, J. I. Emert, “Effect of Temperature on Carbon Black Agglomeration in Hydrocarbon Liquid with Adsorbed Dispersant”, Langmuir 21(4), 924-932, 2005 (DOI: 10.1021/la047906t).


33)     P. E. Trapa, Y.-Y. Won, S. C. Mui, E. A. Olivetti, B. Huang, D. R. Sadoway, A. M. Mayes, S. Dallek, “Rubbery Graft Copolymer Electrolytes for Solid-State, Thin-Film Lithium Batteries”, Journal of the Electrochemical Society 152(1), A1-A5, 2005 (DOI: 10.1149/1.1824032).


34)     Y.-Y. Won, “Imaging Nanostructured Fluids Using Cryo-TEM”, Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering 21(1), 296-302, 2004 (DOI: 10.1007/BF02705412). This article has been referenced in an STTR call from the US Army, titled “Nanoscale In-Solution TEM Sample Stage with Manipulation Capability (A08-T029)” (January 22, 2008).


35)     Y.-Y. Won, H. T. Davis, F. S. Bates, “Molecular Exchange in PEO-PB Micelles in Water”, Macromolecules 36(3), 953-955, 2003 (DOI: 10.1021/ma021439+).


36)     M. M. Santore, D. E. Discher, Y.-Y. Won, F. S. Bates, D. A. Hammer, “Effect of Surfactant on Unilamellar Polymeric Vesicles: Altered Membrane Properties and Stability in the Limit of Weak Surfactant Partitioning”, Langmuir 18(20), 7299-7308, 2002 (DOI: 10.1021/la0201319).


37)     J. F. Hester, P. Banergee, Y.-Y. Won, A. Akthakul, M. H. Acar, A. M. Mayes, “ATRP of Amphiphilic Graft Copolymers Based on PVDF and Their Use as Membrane Additives”, Macromolecules 35(20), 7652-7661, 2002 (DOI: 10.1021/ma0122270).


38)     P. E. Trapa, B. Huang, Y.-Y. Won, D. R. Sadoway, A. M. Mayes, “Block Copolymer Electrolytes Synthesized by Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization for Solid-State, Thin-Film Lithium Batteries”, Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters 5(5), A85-A88, 2002 (DOI: 10.1149/1.1461996).


39)     Y.-Y. Won, A. K. Brannan, H. T. Davis, F. S. Bates, “Cryogenic Transmission Electron Microscopy (Cryo-TEM) of Micelles and Vesicles Formed in Water by Poly(ethylene oxide)-based Block Copolymers”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 106(13), 3354-3364, 2002 (DOI: 10.1021/jp013639d).


40)     B. M. Discher, H. Bermudez, D. A. Hammer, D. E. Discher, Y.-Y. Won, F. S. Bates, “Crosslinked Polymersome Membranes: Vesicles with Broadly Adjustable Stability”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 106(11), 2848-2854, 2002 (DOI: 10.1021/jp011958z).


41)     Y.-Y. Won, K. Paso, H. T. Davis, F. S. Bates, “Comparison of Original and Cross-linked Wormlike Micelles of Poly(ethylene oxide-b-butadiene) in Water: Rheological Properties and Effects of Poly(ethylene oxide) Addition”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 105(35), 8302-8311, 2001 (DOI: 10.1021/jp004078d).


42)     J. C.-M. Lee, H. Bermudez, B. M. Discher, M. Sheehan, Y.-Y. Won, F. S. Bates, D. E. Discher, “Preparation, Stability, and In Vitro Performance of Vesicles Made from Diblock Copolymers”, Biotechnology and Bioengineering 73(2), 135-145, 2001 (DOI: 10.1002/bit.1045).


43)     B. Jeong, M. R. Kibbey, J. C. Birnbaum, Y.-Y. Won, A. Gutowska, “Thermogelling Biodegradable Polymers with Hydrophilic Backbones: PEG-g-PLGA”, Macromolecules 33(22), 8317-8322, 2000 (DOI: 10.1021/ma000638v).


44)     Y.-Y. Won, H. T. Davis, F. S. Bates, M. Agamalian, G. D. Wignall, “Segment Distribution of the Micellar Brushes of Poly(ethylene oxide) via Small-Angle Neutron Scattering”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 104(30), 7134-7143 (DOI: 10.1021/jp000457v), 2000; Journal of Physical Chemistry B 104(38), 9054-9054, 2000 (DOI: 10.1021/jp002934f).


45)     Y. Zheng, Y.-Y. Won, F. S. Bates, H. T. Davis, L. E. Scriven, Y. Talmon, “Directly Resolved Core-Corona Structure of Block Copolymer Micelles by Cryo-Transmission Electron Microscopy”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 103(47), 10331-10334, 1999 (DOI: 10.1021/jp9923264).


46)     B. M. Discher, Y.-Y. Won, J. C.-M. Lee, J. Eggs, F. S. Bates, D. E. Discher, D. A. Hammer, “Polymersomes: Vesicles Made from Diblock Copolymers”, Science 284 (5417), 1143-1146, 1999 (DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5417.1143).


47)     Y.-Y. Won, H. T. Davis, F. S. Bates, “Giant Wormlike Rubber Micelles”, Science 283 (5404), 960-963, 1999 (DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5404.960).





1)            Y.-Y. Won, F. S. Bates, “Nonionic Block Copolymer Wormlike Micelles”, in Giant Micelles: Properties and Applications (Editors: R. Zana, E. W. Kaler), CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL, 2007.





1)        “Block Copolymer (BCP) Encapsulated Nanoparticles and Methods of Use Thereof”, Y.-Y. Won, D. H. Kim, R. P. Andres, pending U.S. Patent, Application No. 13/837,705, PRF Reference No. 66166-02, filed March 15, 2013.


2)        “Cross-linked Polymersomes and Related Encapsulating Membranes”, D. E. Discher, B. M. Discher, Y.-Y. Won, J. C.-M. Lee, F. S. Bates, D. A. Hammer, pending U.S. Patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,867,512, filed February 20, 2007, issued January 11, 2011.


3)        “Polymersomes and Related Encapsulating Membranes”, D. E. Discher, B. M. Discher, Y.-Y. Won, J. C.-M. Lee, F. S. Bates, D. A. Hammer, U.S. Patent No. 7,217,427 B2, filed July 1, 2004, issued May 15, 2007.


4)        “Polymersomes and Related Encapsulating Membranes”, D. E. Discher, B. M. Discher, Y.-Y. Won, J. C.-M. Lee, F. S. Bates, D. A. Hammer, U.S. Patent No. 6,835,394, filed December 14, 1999, issued December 28, 2004.