Kevin Dorfman

Kevin Dorfman

Contact Information
  • Postdoc, Institut Curie (France), 2002-2005
  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, MIT, 2002
  • M.S. in Chemical Engineering, MIT, 2001
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Penn State University, 1999

Research Areas

Recent News:

Research Interests

The research currently underway in the group centers around questions in polymer physics and microfluidic/nanofluidic technologies. On the polymer side, we are particularly interested in understanding the dynamics of DNA in confined systems, which allows us to simultaneously investigate the basic physical properties of semiflexible polymers while advancing genomics applications. In this area, we use a combination of experimental tools (fluorescence microscopy and nanofabrication), simulations (Brownian dynamics and Monte Carlo) and theory. There is a growing interest in the group on the thermodynamics of block polymers, largely in collaboration with Frank Bates, taking advantage of self-consistent field theory to study the formation of complex phases. On the microfluidics side, we have been working closely with Dan Frisbie on the development of new biosensors based on printed electronics and DNA aptamers. We are also using microchemostats developed in the group to study gene expression and the dynamics of bacterial DNA as part of a larger HFSP-funded collaboration.


  • AES Electrophoresis Society Mid-Career Award, 2014
  • Allan P. Colburn Award of the AIChE, 2012
  • Guillermo E. Borja Award, 2012
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2010
  • DARPA Young Faculty Award, 2009
  • Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, 2007
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2007
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award, 2006
  • Human Frontier Science Program Career Development Award, 2006

Selected Publications

  • Xiaolan Li and Kevin D. Dorfman, Effect of excluded volume on the force-extension of wormlike chains in slit confinement. Journal of Chemical Physics 144, 104902 (2016).
  • Pranav Agrawal, Nilesh P. Ingle, William S. Boyle, Emily Ward, Jakub Tolar, Kevin D. Dorfman and Theresa Reineke, Fast, efficient, and gentle transfection of human adherent cells in suspension. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8 8870-8874 (2016).
  • Scott P. White, Kevin D. Dorfman and C. Daniel Frisbie, Operating and sensing mechanism of electrolyte-gated transistors with floating gates: Building a platform for amplified biodetection. J. Phys. Chem. C 120, 108-117 (2016).
  • Julian Sheats, Jeffery G. Reifenberger, Han Cao and Kevin D. Dorfman, Measurements of DNA barcode labels in nanochannels from time-series data. Biomicrofluidics 9, 064119 (2015).
  • John W. McAllister, Peter W. Schmidt, Kevin D. Dorfman, Timothy P. Lodge and Frank S. Bates, Thermodynamics of aqueous methylcellulose solutions. Macromolecules 48, 7205-7215 (2015).
  • Damini Gupta, Jeremy J. Miller, Abhiram Muralidhar, Sara Mahshid, Walter Reisner and Kevin D. Dorfman, Experimental evidence of weak excluded volume effects for nanochannel confined DNA. ACS MacroLetters 4, 759-763 (2015).
  • Xiaolan Li, Charles M. Schroeder and Kevin D. Dorfman, Modeling the stretching of wormlike chains in the presence of excluded volume. Soft Matter 11, 5974-5954 (2015).
  • Akash Arora, David C. Morse, Frank S. Bates and Kevin D. Dorfman, Commensurability and finite size effects in lattice simulations of diblock copolymers. Soft Matter 11, 4862-4867 (2015).
  • Sarit Dutta, Kevin D. Dorfman and Satish Kumar, Shear-induced desorption of isolated polymer molecules from a planar wall. ACS MacroLetters 4, 271-274 (2015).
  • Abhiram Muralidhar, Douglas R. Tree and Kevin D. Dorfman, Backfolding of wormlike chains confined in nanochannels. Macromolecules 47, 8446-8458 (2014).

Contact Information

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

421 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0132

P: 612-625-1313 | F: 612-626-7246

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