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David E. Cliffel

Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair
Professor of Chemistry
Associate Professor of Pediatrics


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.


Society of Electroanalytical Chemistry (SEAC) Young Investigator Award, 2005
ACS Younger Chemistry Committee Leadership Development Award, 2004
Central Texas ACS Local Section Appreciation Award, 1997
Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies Student Award, 1995
Hoechst Celanese Excellence Awards in Chemistry, Top UT Chemistry Graduate Student Award, 1995
George Geisler Excellence Award in Chemistry, University of Dayton, 1992
Thomas Armstrong Outstanding Electrical Engineering Achievement Award, University of Dayton, 1992
Horvath/ Steger Excellence Award in Electrical Engineering, University of Dayton, 1992
ACS Undergraduate Analytical Chemistry Award, 1991
Patterson College Chemistry Award from the Dayton ACS local section, 1991
Louis Rose Award- Outstanding Electrical Engineer Junior, University of Dayton, 1990
John Lucier Award- Outstanding Chemistry Junior, University of Dayton, 1990
Silver Medal at the 20th International Chemistry Olympiad in Helsinki, Finland, 1988

Selected Publications:

An Electrochemical Reaction-Diffusion Model of the Photocatalytic Effect of Photosystem I Multilayer Films. Robinson, MT; Cliffel, DE; Jennings, GK, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 122, 117-125 , (2018) View Abstract

Electrochemical Microphysiometry Detects Cellular Glutamate Uptake. Miller, DR; McClain, ES; Cliffel, DE, JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY, 165, G3120-G3124 , (2018) View Abstract

Polyviologen as Electron Transport Material in Photosystem I-Based Biophotovoltaic Cells. Dervishogullari, D; Gizzie, EA; Jennings, GK; Cliffel, DE, LANGMUIR, 34, 15658-15664 , (2018) View Abstract

Photocatalytic photosystem I/PEDOT composite films prepared by vapor-phase polymerization. Robinson, MT; Simons, CE; Cliffel, DE; Jennings, GK, NANOSCALE, 9, 6158-6166 , (2017) View Abstract

Construction of a Semiconductor Biological Interface for Solar Energy Conversion: p-Doped Silicon/Photosystem I/Zinc Oxide. Beam, JC; LeBlanc, G; Gizzie, EA; Ivanov, BL; Needell, DR; Shearer, MJ; Jennings, GK; Lukehart, CM; Cliffel, DE, LANGMUIR, 31, 10002-10007 , (2015) View Abstract