Ned B. Bowden

Ned B. Bowden
Associate Professor
Phone: 
319-335-1198
Office: 
W425 CB
Divisions: 
Biosketch: 
  • B.S., California Institute of Technology (1994)
  • Ph.D., Harvard University (1999)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Stanford University (2000-2002)
Keywords: 

Polymer chemistry; organic solvent nanofiltration; membranes; agricultural science; growth promoters for crops; small molecule synthesis; polymer synthesis; drug delivery; nanoscience

Research Interests: 

We are focused on addressing challenges in a range of different fields using our expertise in nanomaterials and the synthesis of small molecules and polymers. We work in research areas where we can be unique and can bring our synthetic and materials experience to tackle problems in unexpected ways.  Our research is currently focused on organic solvent nanofiltration membranes, growth promoters to increase the harvest yields of agricultural crops, and investigating the effects of hydrogen sulfide on human cells. In each of these areas we develop novel approaches to solve problems and are keen to develop solutions that can be used in industry. We have an interest in launching start-up companies and have already formed two start-ups.

We have a long history of fabricating organic solvent nanofiltration membranes using polydimethylsiloxane, polydicyclopentadiene, polyepoxies, and carbon nanotubes. Research in this field is concerned with how to separate organic chemicals with molecular weights from approximately 100 to 2,000 grams per mole. This is a challenging field because the chemicals to be separated may have similar shapes and sizes, and these shapes change as bonds within the chemicals rotate. The opportunities for success are large in this field because much of the chemical industry uses chemicals in this molecular weight range and developing an inexpensive, membrane-based method to separate them would have an important impact. We focus on the synthesis of new membranes and have recently synthesized highly selective membranes based on polyepoxies.  We are bringing an understanding of how the molecular structure of membranes can change their nanometer and macro properties.  We have developed highly selective membranes that can separate chemicals with only small differences in their molecular weights.

We are actively synthesizing new growth promoters to increase the growth of many of the key crops grown in the U.S. The population of the world is continuing to grow and will exceed 10B by 2050, but the amount of farmland is shrinking worldwide. To feed the growing population the productivity of current farmland needs to increase. We are using our synthetic and materials expertise to synthesize and fabricate a next generation of growth promoters for agricultural plants. We have already doubled the weight of radishes and increased the weight of a head of lettuce by 86%.  We are working to develop methods to use this technology in greenhouses, indoor farms, and in outdoor farms. 

We are also investigating the effects of hydrogen sulfide on human cells. Hydrogen sulfide is the third known gasotransmitter. It is made by enzymes in our bodies and has been implicated in a wide range of diseases and cellular cycles. Hydrogen sulfide in medicine is a relatively new area of science, and we are synthesizing new chemicals to slowly or rapidly release it in vivo.  This work will, we hope, result in new treatments for ocular diseases and cancer. 

Recent Publications: 

Carter, Justin M.; Brown, Eric M.; Grace, James P.; Salem, Aliasger K.; Irish, Erin E.; Bowden, Ned B. “Improved growth of pea, lettuce, and radish plants using the slow release of hydrogen sulfide from GYY-4137” PLOS One, 2018, Accepted.

Gilmer, Chad M.; Bowden, Ned B. “Reactive epoxy nanofiltration membranes with disulfide bonds for the separation of multicomponent chemical mixtures” ACS Omega, 2018, 3, 10216-20224.

Schumacher, A. L.; Gilmer, C. M.; Atluri, K.; Lee, J.; Jugessur, A. S.; Salem, A. K.; Bowden, N. B.; Raghavan, M. L.; Hasan, D. M. “Development and evaluation of a nanometer-scale hemocompatible and antithrombotic coating technology platform for commercial intracranial stents and flow diverters” ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2018, 1, 344-354.

Gilmer, C. M.; Zvokel, C.; Vick, A.; Bowden, N. B. “Separation of saturated fatty acids and fatty acid methyl esters with epoxy nanofiltration membranes” RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 55626-55632. 

Gilmer, C. M.; Bowden, N. B. “Highly cross-linked epoxy nanofiltration membranes for the separation of organic chemicals and fish oil ethyl esters” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2016, 8, 24104-24111.

Geary, S. M.; Hu, Q.; Joshi, V. B.; Bowden, N. B.; Salem A. K. “Diaminosulfide based polymer microparticles as cancer vaccine delivery systems” Journal of Controlled Release, 2015 220, 682-690. 

Long, T. R.; Wongrakpanich, A.; Do, A.-V.; Salem, A. K.; Bowden, N. B. “Long-term release of a thiobenzamide from a backbone functionalized poly(lactic acid)”  Polymer Chemistry, 2015, 6, 7188-7195.

D’Mello, S. R.; Yoo, J.; Bowden, N. B.; Salem, A. K. “Microparticles prepared from sulfenamide-based polymers” Journal of Microencapsulation, 2014, 31, 137-146.

Kitano, H.; Ramachandran, K.; Bowden, N. B.; Scranton, A. B. “Unexpected visible-light-induced free radical photopolymerization at low light intensity and high viscosity using a titanocene photoinitiator” J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2013, 128, 611-618.

Gupta, A.; Bowden, N. B. “Separation of cis-fatty acids from saturated and trans-fatty acids by nanoporous polydicyclopentadiene membranes” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2013, 5, 924-933.