image of Joerg Lahann

Joerg Lahann

Wolfgang Pauli Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering


(734) 763-7543


Chemical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering

NCRC B10-A175B (Office)
NCRC B26-114S 120S (Labs)
2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

Additional Title(s)

Director of the Biointerfaces Institute

Primary Website


RWTH Aachen (Germany)
PhD Macromolecular Chemistry ’98
MS Chemistry ’95

University of Saarland (Germany)
BSc Chemistry ’93

Research Interests

Designer surfaces, advanced polymers, biomimetic materials, microfluidic devices, engineered microenvironments, nano-scale self-assembly.

Joerg Lahann’s research is broadly related to surface engineering with strong ties to biomedical engineering and nanotechnology. Earlier this year, his research on reversibly switching surfaces was featured in an article in Science (J. Lahann, et al., A Reversibly Switching Surface, January 17, 2003, 299, 371-374.) These “smart surfaces” can reversibly switch properties in response to an external stimulus. To demonstrate these findings, a surface design was developed that can be changed from water-attracting to water-repelling with the application of a weak electric field. Designed as a switch, single-layered molecular-level machines are aligned on a surface using self-assembly and then are flipped between defined microscopic states. This type of surface design may offer a new paradigm for interfacial engineering as it amplifies reversible conformational transitions at a molecular level to macroscopic changes in surface properties without altering the chemical identity of the surface.

Joerg has also developed a novel class of polymers with potential for biomimetic and spatially directed surface engineering. This “reactive coating” technology uses chemical vapor deposition (CVD) polymerization to deposit a wide range of chemical signatures on various substrate materials. Its simplicity in providing chemically reactive groups and its applicability to three-dimensional geometries (e.g. for microfluidics) enables the exact tailoring of surface properties and the preparation of biologically relevant microenvironments. Reactive coatings are compatible with soft lithographic processes, allowing for patterning of proteins, DNA, cytokines, and mammalian cells.


Professional Experience

University of Michigan
Chemical Engineering Department
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Professor, 2012-
Associate Professor, 2008-2012
Assistant Professor, 2003-2008

Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (HMST)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chemical Engineering
Post-doctoral Associate, 1999-2001

Courses Taught


ChE 342 Heat and Mass Transfer
ChE 343 Separation Processes
ChE 470 Colloids and Interfaces

ChE 563 Biomolecular Engineering of Interfaces
ChE 696 Biomolecular Engineering


Technology Review TR100 Young Innovator Award, 2004

NSF CAREER Award, 2004
National Science Foundation

Justus-Liebig Fellowship of the Fonds of the German Industry, 2000-2001

Sigma XI — Full Membership, 2001

German Science Foundation Postdoctoral Grant, 1999

Borchers Prize of the RWTH Aachen, given for an outstanding performance to graduate students, 1998

Young Student Achievement Award of the Fonds of the German Industry, 1998


Books and Book Chapters

J.F. Dyet, K. Schürmann, J. Lahann: “The Physical and Biological Properties of Metallic Stents” in Textbook of Endovascular Procedures, Eds: Dyet, Ettles, Wilson, Churchill Livingstone, New York, Edinburgh, London, Philadelphia, 20-25, 2000.

J. Lahann, “Verfahren zur Ausrüstung von Metallimplantaten mit bioaktiven Oberflächen”, Shaker Verlag, Maastricht, ISBN 3-8265-4496-X, 1998.

D. Klee, J. Lahann, W. Plüster, “Dünne Beschichtungen auf Biomaterialien” in Medizintechnik mit biokompatiblen Werkstoffen und Verfahren, E. Wintermantel, S.-W. Ha (Eds.) Springer Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, New York, 347-360, 2002.

D. Klee, N. Weiss, J. Lahann, “Vapor-based polymerization of functionalized [2.2]paracyclophanes: A unique approach towards surface-engineered microenvironments” in Paracyclophanes, H. Hopf (ed.), VCH Weinheim, in preparation.

Journal Publications

H. Nandivada, A. M. Ross, J. Lahann, “Stimuli responsive monolayers for biotechnology,” Progress in Polymer Science, 35(1-2), 141-154, 2010.

D. W. Lim, S. Hwang, O. Uzun, F. Stellacci, J. Lahann, “Compartmentalization of Gold Nanocrystals in Polymer Microparticles Using Electrohydrodynamic Co-jetting,” Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 31(2), 176-182, 2010.

S. Bhaskar, K. M. Pollock, M. Yoshida, J. Lahann, “Towards Designer Microparticles: Simultaneous Control of Anisotropy, Shape, and Size” Small, 6(3), 404-411, 2010.

M. Yoshida, K-H. Roh, S. Mandal, S. Bhaskar, D. W. Lim, H. Nandivada, X. Deng, J. Lahann. “Structurally Controlled Bio-hybrid Materials Based on Unidirectional Association of Anisotropic Microparticles with Human Endothelial Cells,” Advanced Materials, 21(48), 4920-4925, 2009.

S. Mandal, S. Bhaskar, J. Lahann. “Micropatterned Fiber Scaffolds for Spatially-Controlled Cell Adhesion” Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 131(19), 6650-6651, 2009.

Y. Elkasabi, H. Nandivada, H-Y Chen, S. Bhaskar, J. D’Arcy, L. Bondarenko, J. Lahann. “Partially Fluorinated Poly-p-xylylenes Synthesized by CVD Polymerization” Chemical Vapor Deposition, 15(4-6), 142-149, 2009.

A. Sun and J. Lahann. “Dynamically Switchable Biointerfaces,” Soft Matter, 5(8), 1555-1561, 2009. 

A. Kazemi, J. Lahann. “Environmentallly responsive core/shell particles via electrohydrodynamic co-jetting of fully miscible polymer solutions.” Small (2008), 4(10), 1756-1762.

S. Bhaskar, K-H. Roh, X.W. Jiang, G.L. Baker, J. Lahann. “Spatioselective modification of bicompartmental polymer particles and fibers via Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition” Macromolecular rapid communications (2008), 29(20), 1655-1660.

D.K. Peng, A.A. Ahmadi, J. Lahann. “A synthetic surface that undergoes spatiotemporal remodeling” Nano Letters (2008), 8(10), 3336-3340.

H.Y. Chen, J.H Lai, X.W. Jiang, J. Lahann. “Substrate-selective chemical vapor deposition of reactive polymer coatings” Advanced Materials (2008), 20(18), 3474.

Y. Elkasabi, M. Yoshida, H. Nandivada, H-Y. Chen, J. Lahann. “Towards multipotent coatings: Chemical vapor deposition and biofunctionalization of carbonyl-substituted copolymers” Macromolecular rapid communications (2008), 29(11), 855-870.

M. Yoshida, J. Lahann. “Smart Nanomaterials” ACS Nano (2008), 2(6), 1101-1107.

J. Lahann. “Environmental nanotechnology – Nanomaterials clean up” Nature Nanotechnology (2008), 3(6), 320-321.4.

X. Jiang, H.-Y. Chen, G. Galvan, M. Yoshida, J. Lahann. “Vapor-based initiator coatings for atom transfer radical polymerization” Advanced Functional Materials (2008), 18(1), 27-35.


J. Lahann, K.F. Jensen, R. Langer, “Reactive Polymer Coatings”, US patent application, 2001; PCT application 2002.

J. Lahann, S. Mitragotri, R. Langer, “Switchable Surfaces”, US patent application, 2001; PCT application 2002.

J. Lahann, J. Reul, “Embolization element for the occlusion of vascular malformations”, German Patent Application, 2001.

J. Lahann, “Procedure for the reversible local arrangement of defined, aligned molecule sequences of a polymer or reversible local arrangement of cationic and anionic states of a metal”, DE 99-19905792, (German patent application) 2000.

J. Lahann, A. Lendlein, “Procedure for the selective release of materials encapsulated in polymers”, DE 99-19905793 (German patent application) 2000.

J. Lahann, A. Lendlein, “Method for the controlled swelling of polymers in hydrophilic environment for the usage as hemostatic dressings”, DE19905796 (German patent application) 2000.

J. Lahann, A. Lendlein, “Inorganic/organic hybrid system with adjustable boundary surface characteristics”, DE19905795 (German patent application) 2000.

J. Lahann, W. Plüster, D. Klee, H. Höcker, “Method for targeted immobilization of the thrombogenic inhibitor hirudin on polymer surfaces”,WO9932080, 1999.

W. Krause, H. Höcker, J. Lahann, D. Klee, (Schering AG), “Polymer-coated stents, processes for producing the same and their use in restenosis prevention”, WO9848852, 1998.

W. Krause, H. Höcker, D. Klee, J. Lahann, (Schering AG), “Stents coated with fluoroalkyl groups, method for producing same and the use thereof in the prophylaxis of restenosis”, EP98936352, 1998.

H. Höcker, J. Lahann, D. Klee, G. Lorenz, “Antithrombogenic coating for extra- or intracorporeal medical devices”, DE 19604173 (German patent), 1996.

J. Reul, J. Lahann, D. Klee, “Method for the sealing of vascular malformations, especially cerebral aneurysms, with the application of wire-shaped embolization elements”, DE 19647280 (German patent application), 1995.