Mark Worden is associate chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and a professor of chemical engineering and materials science.
An expert in biomedicine, Worden’s research involves the application of engineering principles to biological systems. His lab has particular expertise in the use of proteins as nanomachines and in the production of high-value products utilizing enzymes and biological cells.
Dr. Worden has developed several interdisciplinary programs that integrate research and education. His research on nanostructured biointerfaces and multiphase biocatalysis have resulted in more than ten patents issued or pending on technologies including microbiosensors, bioelectronics, and multiphase bioreactors.
His undergraduate degrees are in chemistry and cell biology; Dr. Worden holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee.
The Worden Lab
Mark Worden’s lab develops nanostructured biomimetic interfaces that contain functional proteins and other macromolecules. These interfaces are then used as biosensors, diagnostics, catalysts, and research tools. Biological recognition molecules are co-immobilized with enzymes on electrode arrays to sensitively and quantitatively measure target analytes having biomedical relevance. Biomembrane phenomena are studied using both planar bilayer lipid membrane and tethered bilayer lipid membrane platforms. The effects of nanoparticles’ properties (size, surface functional groups, etc.) on their potency for biomembrane disruption are being characterized as an indicator of nanotoxicity.
Dr. Worden’s lab also optimizes fermentation processes, including high-density microbial fermentations to overexpress recombinant proteins.