Vijay T. John


The Leo S. Weil Professor in Engineering
(504) 865-5883
School of Science & Engineering
Vijay T. John


331 Lindy Boggs Building
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118-5674

Courses Taught

Applied Numerical Analysis

Reactor Design


Applied Thermodynamics

Colloid and Interface Science

Polymer Solution Thermodynamics

Advanced Reactor Design

Education & Affiliations

B.Tech., The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, 1976
M.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1978
D.Eng.Sc., Columbia University, 1982


Research Interests

Self-Assembly and Nanostructured Materials, Polymer/nanoparticle composites, biomolecular materials, microemulsion systems, clathrate hydrate thermodynamics

I work in the highly interdisciplinary areas of lipid self-assembly, drug and vaccine delivery, and the development of nanostructured materials. The self-organization of amphiphilic molecules (such as biological lipids and synthetic surfactants) is essential in technologies as mundane as consumer detergent products, and techologies of the future as in the development of structured, responsive nanomaterials. Biological membranes are ubiquitous examples of lipid-self assembly that impacts the entire function of a cell. A major project that I am now working on, is in the exploitation of lipid self-assembly to induce transcutaneous vaccine delivery. Vaccine development and needle free vaccine delivery is a grand challenge problem being addressed by researchers at the Medical School and at the Uptown Campus at Tulane, and I am privileged to be part of this group.  

Other exciting projects incollaboration with the Medical School involve the development of drug containing ultrathin polymer films as coatings for glaucoma drainage devices and for surgical implants, the development of novel tubular liposomes for drug delivery in osteosarcoma treatment, and for DNA vaccine delivery.

In 2014 we started a major program in the development of dispersants to be used in oil spills. Of course, the impetus for the research comes from the tragedy in 2010 with the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. I was part of a wonderful consortium (Consortium for the Molecular Engineering of Dispersants)  of 43 investigators from 22 institutions. We were funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI - GoMRI ceased operations 10 years after the DWH incident but our research in oil spills mitigation continues.

Among the most rewarding outreach activities I have participated in is the establishment of a collaboration with Nunez Community College on setting up new facilities for process technology operator training. The facilities have benefitted not only the process technology students at Nunez, but also Chemical Engineering students who are able to get a first hand training opportunity on mini plant scale systems.

At Tulane, we have developed a wonderful cryo-electron microscopy facility with both cryo-SEM and cryo-TEM. All my students are trained in cryo-microscopy. Many of my students also get to learn neutron scattering at the National Center for Neutron Research (NIST, Md). Tulane operates in a highly collaborative, highly interdisciplinary setting, allowing my students to gain tremendousy from the resources of the entire university and the multiple collaborations that I seek to establish.

Recent Journal Articles, Patents and Reviewed Book Chapters (5 years)

Yu, T.; Omarova, M.; Zheng, M.; Hossain, I.; Chen, J.; Darvish, O.; John, V.; Zhang, D. "Uncovering the Optimal Molecular Characteristics of Hydrophobe-Containing Polypeptoids to Induce Liposome or Cell Membrane Fragmentation", Biomacromolecules, 2023, 24(3), 1511.

Farinmade, A.; Ajumobi, A.; Yu, L.; Su, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Lou, Y.; Valla, J.; John, V. “Tubular Clay Nano-straws in Ordered Mesoporous Materials Create Hierarchical Porosities leading to Improved CO2 Uptake”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2022, 61(4), 1694.

Mkam Tsengam, I.; Omarova, M.; Kelley, E.; McCormick, A.; Bothun, G.; Raghavan, S.; John, V. “Transformation of Lipid Vesicles into Micelles by adding Nonionic Surfactants: Elucidating the Structural Pathway and the Intermediate Structures”, J. Phys. Chem. B., 2022, 126(11), 2208.

Nguyen, D.; John, V. "Loaded Sealed Nanotubes for Oil Recovery", US Patent 11312895. Issued April 2022.

John, V.;  Tsengam, I. "Methods and Compositions for treating Algae using Metal Phenolic Networks", US Patent 11439150B2. Issued September 2022.

Owoseni, O.; Su, Y.; Raghavan, S.; Bose, A.; John, V. "Hydrophobically Modified Chitosan Biopolymer Conects Halloysite Nanotubes at the Oil-Water Interface as Complementary Pair for stabilizing Oil Droplets", Journal of Colloid and Interface Sci. 2022, 620, 135.

Ajumobi, O.; Su, Y.; Farinmade, A.; Yu, L.; He, J.; Valla, J.; John, V. “Integrating Halloysite Nanostraws in Porous Catalyst Supports to Enhance Molecular Transport”,  ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2021, 4(8), 8455.

Omarova, M.; Zhang, Y.; Tsengam, M.; He, J.; Yu, T.; Zhang, D.; John, V. "Hydrophobe containing Polypeptoids Complex with Lipids and Induce Fusogenesis of Lipid Vesicles", J. Phys. Chem. B. 2021, 125(12), 3145.

Yu, L.; Farinmade, A.; Ajumobi, O.; John, V.; Valla, J. “One-step Hydropyrolysis and Hydrotreating Tandem Reactions of Miscanthus x Giganteus using Ni Impregnated ZSM-5/MCM-41 Composites”, Energy & Fuels, 2021, 35(24), 20117.

John, V.; McPherson, G. “Hollow Nanoparticles with Hybrid Double Layers”, US Patent 11045427. Issued June, 2021.

Zhang, D. H.; John, V.; Zhang, Y.; Xuan, S. “Hydrophobically Modified Polypeptoids and Uses Thereof”, US Patent 11123433, Issued September 2021.

Agrawal, N.; Omarova, M.; Burni, F.; John, V.; Raghavan, S. “Spontaneous Formation of Stable Vesicles and Vesicle-Gels in Polar Organic Solvents”, Langmuir, 2021, 37(26), 7955. 

Corcoran, L.; Saldana, B.; Amen, K.; Bothun, G.; Raghavan, S.; John, V.; McCormick, A.; Penn, R. “Using Microemulsion Phase Behavior as a Predictive Model for Lecithin-Tween 80 Marine Oil Dispersant Effectiveness”, Langmuir,  2021, 37(27), 8115.

Quigg, A.; Farrington, J.; Gilbert, S.; Murawski, S.; John, V. “A Decade of GoMRI Dispersant Science – Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future”, Oceanography, 2021, 34(1), 98.

Farinmade, A.; Ajumobi, O.; Yu, L.; Su, Y.; He, J.; Valla, J.; John, V. " A One-Step Facile Encapsulation of Zeolite Microcrystallites in Ordered Mesoporous Microspheres", Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2020, 59(31), 13923.

Ojo, O.; Farinmade, A.; Nguyen, D.; John, V. " A Nanocomposite of Halloysite/Surfactant/Wax to inhibit Surfactant Adsorption onto Reservoir Rock Surfaces for Improved Oil Recovery", Energy & Fuels, 2020, 34(7), 8074.

Yu, L.; Farinmade, A.; Ajumobi, O.; Su, Y.; John, V.; Valla, J. "MCM-41/ZSM-5 Composite Particles for the Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass", Applied Catalysis A. 2020, 602, 117727.

Farinmade, A.; Ojo, O.; Trout, J.; He, J.; John, V.; Blake, D.; Lvov, Y.; Zhang, D.; Nguyen, D.; Bose, A. "Targeted and Stimulus-Responsive Delivery of Surfactant to the Oil-Water Interface for Applications in Oil Spill Remediation", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2020, 12(1), 1840.

Panchal, A.; Rahman, N.,; Konnova, S.; Fakhrullin, R.; Zhang, D.; Blake, D.; Ivanov, E.; Lvov, Y. "Clay Nanotube Marbles Enhanced with Inner Biofilm Formation for the Encapsulation and Storage of Bacteria at Room Temperature" ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2020, 3(2), 1263.

Rad, A.; Bao, Y.; Jang, H-S.; Xia, Y.; Sharma, H.; Dormdontova, E.; Zhao, J.; Arora, J.; John, V.; Tang, B.; Dainese, T.; Hariri, A. Jokerst, J.; Maran, F.; Nieh, M-P. "Aggregation-Enhanced Photoluminescence and Photoaccoustics of Atomically Precise Gold Nanoclusters in Lipid Nanodiscs (NANO2), Advanced Functional Materials, in press. 

Blake, D.; John, V.; Ayyala, R.; Ponnusamy, T. "Drug Delivery Devices  and Methods of Making and Using Same". US Patent 10,653,822. 2020.

Kaplan, D.; Wang, X.; John, V.; Pesika, N.; Zheng, R. "Silk Microspheres and Methods for Surface Lubrication", US Patent 10,653,786. 2020.

Zhang, Y.; Heidari, Z.; Yang, S.; Yu, T.; Xuan, S.; Omarova, M.; Ayden, Y.; Dash, S.; Zhang, D.; John, V. "Amphiphilic Polypeptoids Rupture Vesicle Bilayers to form Peptoid-Lipid Fragments Effective in Enhancing Hydrophobic Drug Delivery", Langmuir, 2019, 35(47), 15335.

Mkam Tsengam, I.; Omarova, M.; Shepherd, L.; Sandoval, N.; He, J.; Kelley, E.; John, V. "Clusters of Nanoscale Liposomes Modulate the Release of Encapsulated Species and Mimic the Compartmentalization Intrinsic in Cell Structures", ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2019, 2(11), 7134.

Omarova, M.; Swientoniewski, L.; Tsengam, I.; Blake, D.; John, V.; McCormick, A.; Bothun, G.; Raghavan, S.; Bose, A. "Biofilm Formation by Hydrocarbon-Degrading Marine Bacteria and its Effects on Oil Dispersion", ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2019, 7, 14490.

Ojo, O.; Farinmade, A.; Trout, J.; Omarova, M.; He, J.; John, V.; Blake, D.; Lvov, Y.; Zhang, D. "Stoppers and Skins on Clay Nanotubes help Stabilize Oil-in-Water Emulsions and Modulate the Release of Encapsulated Surfactants" ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2019, 2(6), 2490.

Fernandes, J.; Agrawal, N.; Al-Jirafi, F.; Bothun, G.; McCormick, A.; John, V.; Raghavan, S. "Does the Solvent in a Dispersant Impact the Efficiency of Crude-Oil Dispersion?", Langmuir, 2019, 35, 16630.

Yu, T.; Swientoniewski, L.; Omarova, M.; Li, M-C.; Negulescu, I.; Jiang, N.; Darvish, O.; Panchal, A.; Blake, D.; Wu, Q.; Lvov, Y.; John, V.; Zhang, D. "Investigation of Amphiphilic Polypeptoid-Functionalized Halloysite Nanotubes as Emulsion Stabilizers for Oil Spill Remediation" ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2019, 11(31), 27944.

Jiang, N.; Yu, T.; Darvish, O.; Qian, S.; Mkam Tsengam, I.; John, V.; Zhang, D. "Crystallization-Driven Self-Assembly of Coil-Comb Shaped Polypeptoid Block Copolymers: Solution Morphology and Self-Assembly Pathways", Macromolecules, 2019, 52(22), 8867.

Oak, S.; Pashazanusi, L.; Sengel, S.; Omarova, M.; Hemstock, J.; He, W.; He, J.; John, V.; Sahiner, N.; Pesika, N. "Tunable Friction through Stimuli Responsive Hybrid Carbon Microspheres", Langmuir, 2019, 2019, 35(48), 16839.

Swann, F.; Singh, S.; Blake, D.; John, V.; Le, L.; Fullerton, M.; Margo, C.; Zhang, Z.; Muddasani, N.; Wall, J.; Satija, C.; Greenberg, E.; Mancera, N.; Zurakowski, D.; Ayyala, R. "Effect of 2 Novel Sustained-Release Drug Release Systems on Bleb Fibrosis: An in vivo Trabulectomy Study in a Rabbit Model", J. Glaucoma, 2019, 28(6), 512.

Haney, N.; Talwar, S.; Akula, P.; Reddy, A.; Pema, G.; Ninh, T.; Rezk, B.; Heidari, Z.; Bouljihad, M.; Sikka, S.; John, V.; Abdel-Mageed, A.; Hellstrom, W. "Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)-loaded Polymeric PLGA Microspheres Improved Erectile Function in a Rat Model of Bilateral Cavernous Nerve Injury", J. Sexual Medicine, 2019, 16(3), 383.

Su, Y.; Ojo, O.; Tsengam, I.; He, J.; McPherson, G.; John, V.; Valla, J. "Thermo-resonsive Coatings on Hollow Particles with Mesoporous Shells serve as Stimuli-Responsive Gates to Species Encapsulation and Release", Langmuir, 2018, 34(48), 14608.

Omarova, M.; Swientoniewski, L.; Tsengam, I.; Panchal, A.; Yu, T.; Blake, D.; Lvov, Y.; Zhang, D.; John, V. "Engineered Clays as Sustainable Oil Dispersants in the presence of Model Hydrocarbon Degrading Bacteria: The Role of Bacterial Sequestration and Biofilm Formation", ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2018,6(11), 14143.

Su, Y.; Wang, Y.; Owoseni, O.; Zhang, Y.; McPherson, G.; Gamliel, D.; Valla, J.; John, V. "A Bottle-Around-a-Ship Method to Generate Hollow Thin-Shelled Particles containing Encapsulated Iron Species with Application to the Environmental Decontamination of Chlorinated Compounds", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2018, 10(16), 13542.

Owoseni, O.; Zhang, Y.; Omarova, M.; Li, X.; Lal, J.; McPherson, G.; Raghavan, S.; Bose, A.; John, V. "Microstructural Characteristics of Surfactant Assembly into a Gel-like Mesophase for Application as an Oil Spill Dispersant", J. Colloid Interface Sci., 2018, 524, 279.

Sternhagen, G.; Gupta, S.; Zhang, Y.; John, V.; Schneider, G.; Zhang, D. "Solution Self-Assemblies of Sequence-Defined Ionic Peptoid Block Copolymers", J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140(11), 4100.

Panchal, A.; Swientoniewski, L.; Omarova, M.; Yu, T.; Zhang, D.; Blake, D.; John, V.; Lvov, Y. "Bacterial Proliferation of Clay Nanotube Pickering Emulsions for Oil Spill Bioremediation", Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2018. 164. 27.

Su, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Ke, H.; McPherson, G.; He, J.; Zhang, X.; John, V. "Environmental Remediation of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons using Biopolymer Stabilized Iron Loaded Halloysite Nanotubes", ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2017, 5, 10976.

Zhang, Y.; Su, Y.; Wang, Y.; He, J.; McPherson, G.; John, V. "Rapid Fabrication of Hollow and Yolk-shell alpha Fe2O3 Particles with Applications to Enhanced Photo-Fenton Reactions", RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 39049.

Zhang, Y.; Xuan, S.; Owoseni, O.; Omarova, M.; Li, X.; Saito, M.; He, J.; McPherson, G.; Raghavan, S.; Zhang, D.; John, V. "Amphiphilic Polypeptoids Serve as the Connective Glue to Transform Liposomes into Multilamellar Structures with Closely Spaced Bilayers", Langmuir, 2017, 33(11), 2780.

Abshire, C.; Murad, H.; Arora, J.; Liu, J.; Daigle, J.; Mandava, S.; John, V.; Khismatullin, D.; Lee, B. "Focused Ultrasound Triggered Release of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor from Thermosensitive Liposomes for Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma", J. Pharm. Sci. 2017. 106(5), 1355.

Katepalli, H.; John, V.; Tripathi, A.; Bose, A. "Microstructure and Rheology of Particle Stabilized Emulsions: Effects of Particle Shape and Inter-Particle Interactions", J. Colloid and Interface Sci. 2017, 485(1), 11.

Heidari, Z.; Arora, J.; Dutta, D.; Kumar, N.; John, V.; Bansal, G. "Impact of the Charge Ratio on the In-Vivo Immunogenicity of Lipoplexes", Pharm. Res. 2017, 34, 1796.

Du, P.; Li, A.; Li, X.; Zhang, Y.; Do, C.; He, L.; Rick, S.; John, V.; Kumar, R.; Zhang, D. "Aggregation of Cyclic Peptoids bearing Zwitterionic End-Groups with Attractive Dipole-Dipole and Solvophobic Interactions: A Study by Small Angle Neutron Scatterng and Molecular Dynamics Simulation", Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2017, 19, 14388.

Pochampally, R.; John, V.; Alb, A.; He, J.; Tan, G.; Feldman, J.; Walker, R.; Frazier, T.; Penformis, P.; Dhule, S. "Curcumin-Loaded Gamma-Cyclodextrin Liposomal Nanoparticles as Delivery Vehicles for Osteosarcoma", Nanomedicine in Cancer, Balogh, L. (Ed.), Pan Stanford Publishers, 2017, 291.

Arora, J.; Cremaldi, J.; Holleran, M.; Ponnusamy, T.; Sunkara, B.; He, J.; Pesika, N.; John, V. "Hierarchical Patterning of Hydrogels by Replica Molding of Impregnated Breath Figures leads to Superoleophobicity", Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 18446.

Arora, J.; Cremaldi, J.; Holleran, M.; Ponnusami, T.; He, J.; Pesika, N.; John, V. "Hydrogel Inverse Replicas of Breath Figures Exibit Superoleophobicity due to Patterned Surface Roughness", Langmuir, 2016, 32, 1009.

Arora, J.; Murad, H.; Ashe, S.; Halliburton, G.; Yue, H.; John, V.; Khismatullin, D. "Ablative Focused Ultrasound Synergistically Enhances Thermally Triggered Chemotherapy for Prostate Cancer in vivo", Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2016, 13 (3080).

John, V.; Arnosti, C.; Field, J.; Kujawinski, E.; McCormick, A. "The Role of Dispersants on Oil Spill Remediation", Oceanography, 2016, 29(3), 87.

Saha, A.; John, V.; Bose, A. "Facile Synthesis, Characterization and Catalytic Activity of Nanoporous Supports Loaded with Monometallic and Bimetallic Nanoparticles, Colloids and Surfaces A., 2016, 491, 57. 

Xuan, S.; Lee, C.; Chen, C.; Doyle, A.; Zhang, Y.; Guo, L.; John, V.; Hayes, D.; Zhang, D. "Thermoreversible and Injectable ABC Polypeptoid Hydrogels: Controlling the Hydrogel Properties through Molecular Design", Chem. Mater., 2016, 28(3), 727.

Owoseni, O.; Nyankson, E.; Zhang, Y.; Adams, D.; He, J.; Spinu, L.; McPherson, G.; Bose, A.; Gupta, R.; John, V. "Interfacial Adsorption and Surfactant Release Characteristics of Magnetically Functionalized Halloysite Nanotubes for Responsive Emulsions", Journal of Colloid and Interface Sci. 2016, 463, 288. 

Kalliola, S.; Repo, E.; Sillanpaa, M.; Arora, J.; He, J.; John, V. "The Stability of Green Nanooparticles in Increased pH and Salinity for Applications in Oil-Spill Treatment", Colloids and Surfaces A, 2016, 491, 57.

Cremaldi, J.; Ejaz, M.; Oak, S.; Holleran, M.; Roberts, K.; Cheng, G.; Wang, Y.; Grayson, S.; Pesika, N. "Polymer Grafted Hard Carbon Microspheres at an Oil/Water Interface", J. Colloid and Interface Sci., 2016, 470, 31.