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David Cliffel

Title and Contact Information

Professor of Chemistry & Department Chairman

Office: 5519 SC
Phone: (615) 343-3937


Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1998


Nanoparticle Biomimics
Electronanalytical Chemistry
Chemical Biology
Bioanalytical Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry

In the News

Arts and Science Magazine- In Place with David Cliffel

Research News @ Vanderbilt- New technique maps twin faces of smallest Janus nanoparticles

Research News @ Vanderbilt- Vanderbilt-led team to develop 'microbrain' to improve drug testing

The Tennessean- David Cliffel, John McLean, and colleagues have big hopes on a tiny device

Research News @ Vanderbilt-David Cliffel and a colleague have explored the power of spinach



Multianalyte Microphysiometry
Analytical chemistry often leads the forefront of scientific discovery, as new instrumentation allows us to perform new experiments. Our group has created multianalyte microphysiometry by combining microfluidic technologies with electrochemical detection to study the dynamic behaviors of metabolic pathways. We are developing new multianalyte microphysiometry methods with applications in cancer, diabetes, and toxicology. We have added electrochemical detectors for many metabolic analytes into the microfluidic chamber to give a complete dynamical picture of the live cell population.

Nanoparticle Biomimics
The ability to mimic biomolecular recognition requires the generation of nanoscale structures that faithfully reproduce the lock & key motif of protein binding. We have designed biomimics that present targeted linear and loop peptide structures on the surface of monolayer protected gold nanoparticles. These biomimics are useful for calibrating immunoassays, especially in our immunosensor work with the quartz crystal microbalance.

Electrochemistry on the Nanoscale
Electron transfer in nanometer-size chemical systems is an important process for the creation of macromolecular electronics. We are interested in the electrochemistry of metallic nanoparticles, redox proteins like Photosystem I, and other electroactive nanomaterials that bridge the gap between bulk solids and discrete molecules in the development of electronic devices using nanotechnology.

Selected Publications

Venmar KT, Kimmel DW, Cliffel DE, Fingleton B. IL4 receptor α mediates enhanced glucose and glutamine metabolism to support breast cancer growth. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2015, 4;1853(5):1219-1228.

Casey MC, Cliffel DE. Surface adsorption and electrochemical reduction of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene on vanadium dioxide. Analytical Chemistry. 2015, 87(1):334-7.

Lima EA, Snider RM, Reiserer RS, McKenzie JR, Kimmel DW, Eklund SE, Wikswo JP, Cliffel DE. Multichamber Multipotentiostat System for Cellular Microphysiometry. Sensors and Actuators. B, Chemical. 2014, 204:536-543.

Darby E, LeBlanc G, Gizzie EA, Winter KM, Jennings GK, Cliffel DE. Photoactive films of photosystem I on transparent reduced graphene oxide electrodes. Langmuir: the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. 2014 30(29):8990-4.

Leblanc, G., Gizzie, E., Yang, S., Cliffel, D. E., Jennings, G. K. Photosystem I Protein Films at Electrode Surfaces for Solar Energy Conversion. Langmuir. 2014, 0 (0): [Epub ahead of print].

Gunther, D., LeBlanc, G., Prasai, D., Zhang, J. R., Cliffel, D. E., Bolotin, K. I., Jennings, G. K. Photosystem I on Graphene as a Highly Transparent, Photoactive Electrode. Langmuir. 2013, 29 (13): 4177-4180.

Wikswo, J. P., Block, F. E., Cliffel, D. E., Goodwin, C. R., Marasco, C. C., Markov, D. A., McLean, D. L., McLean, J. A., McKenzie, J. R., Reiserer, R. S., Samson, P. C., Schaffer, D. K., Seale, K. T., Sherrod, S. D. Engineering Challenges for Instrumenting and Controlling Integrated Organ-on-Chip Systems. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 2013, 60 (3): 682-690.

Kimmel, D. W., Dole, W. P., Cliffel, D. E. Application of multianalyte microphysiometry to characterize macrophage metabolic responses to oxidized LDL and effects of an apoA-1 mimetic. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2013, 431 (2): 181-185.

Simpson, C. A., Salleng, K. J., Cliffel, D. E., Feldheim, D. L. In vivo toxicity, biodistribution, and clearance of glutathione-coated gold nanoparticles. NanoMedicine-NanoTechnology Biology and Medicine. 2013, 9 (2): 257-263.

Harkness, K. M., Turner, B. N., Agrawal, A. C., Zhang, Y. B., McLean, J. A., Cliffel, D. E. Biomimetic monolayer-protected gold nanoparticles for immunorecognition. Nanoscale. 2012, 4 (13): 3843-3851.

Harkness, K. M., Tang, Y., Dass, A., Pan, J., Kothalawala, N., Reddy, V. J., Cliffel, D. E., Demeler, B., Stellacci, F., Bakr, O. M., McLean, J. A. Ag-44(SR)(30)(4-): a silver-thiolate superatom complex. Nanoscale. 2012, 4 (14): 4269-4274.

McKenzie, J. R., Palubinsky, A. M., Brown, J. E., McLaughlin, B., Cliffel, D. E. Metabolic Multianalyte Microphysiometry Reveals Extracellular Acidosis is an Essential Mediator of Neuronal Preconditioning. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 2012, 3 (7): 510-518.

Harry, R. S., Hiatt, L. A., Kimmel, D. W., Carney, C. K., Halfpenny, K. C., Cliffel, D. E., Wright, D. W. Metabolic Impact of 4-Hydroxynonenal on Macrophage-Like RAW 264.7 Function and Activation. Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2012, 25 (8): 1643-1651.

LeBlanc, G., Chen, G. P., Jennings, G. K., Cliffel, D. E. Photoreduction of Catalytic Platinum Particles Using Immobilized Multilayers of Photosystem I. Langmuir. 2012, 28 (21): 7952-7956.

Hiatt, L. A., McKenzie, J. R., Deravi, L. F., Harry, R. S., Wright, D. W., Cliffel, D. E. A printed superoxide dismutase coated electrode for the study of macrophage oxidative burst. Biosensors & Bioelectronics. 2012, 33 (1): 128-133.

Kimmel, D. W., LeBlanc, G., Meschievitz, M. E., Cliffel, D. E. Electrochemical Sensors and Biosensors. Analytical Chemistry. 2012, 84 (2): 685-707.