Dr. Christopher S. Brazel

  • Department Head of Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Associate Professor

Contact Information

  • Office: 262 Hardaway
  • Phone: (205) 348-9738
  • Fax: (205) 348-7558

Areas of Research

  • Magnetic biomaterials
  • Controlled drug delivery

Education

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1997
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1994
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Texas A & M University, 1992

Biography

Dr. Chris Brazel’s research interests are in polymer science and pharmaceutical engineering. Research projects investigate the transport behavior of solvents and model solutes in hydrogel structures for use in membrane separations, controlled drug delivery and controlled release technology. “Smart” materials are used to sense environmental conditions, such as pH, temperature or specific biomolecular events to trigger conformational changes in a polymeric carrier. The phase behavior of polymer/solvent systems is of vital interest in predicting diffusive behavior.

Brazel’s lab also studies free radical polymerizations, including reaction kinetics and the application of environmentally-benign solvents to replace volatile organics in processing. The development of flexible polymers with superior thermal stability and low plasticizer leachability leads to new materials for use in areas such as space technology and automotive applications. Microencapsulation is another area of research interest, including such processes as spray drying, emulsion polymerization, and fluid-bed coating.

Brazel is also involved in a project for the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Fluid Mechanics with Analysis Using Computations and Experiments Program.