Product and Process Engineering - Delft University of Technology

Aswin Muralidharan

Aswin Muralidharan

Contact details

  • Aswin Muralidharan
  • Delft University of Technology
  • ChemE - PPE
  • Room E2.320
  • van der Maasweg 9, Delft 2629 HZ
  • The Netherlands

Research interests and expertises

  • Transport Phenomena
  • Soft Condensed Matter Physics and Biophysics
  • Cell Mechanics
  • Particle Image Velocimetry

Social Media


  • M.Sc.(Honours and Cum Laude), Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2017
  • B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Calicut, India, 2014


Teaching Assistant

  • CH3131a, Applied Numerical Mathematics(M.Sc. Chemical Engineering, 2016-2017 Q1).
  • CH3053, Applied Transport Phenomena(M.Sc. Chemical Engineering, 2017-2018 Q2).
  • 4051LEON1Y, Leren onderzoeken 1(B.Sc. Molecular Science and Technology, 2017-2018 Q4).

Research description

The project I am working on revolves around understanding various stages of transferring DNA into living cells with the application of strong electric fields. Application of strong electric fields of short duration render lipid membrane of cells to permeabilize enabling the transport of DNA and drugs possible. This phenomena, frequently referred to as electroporation, is a promising technology for non viral delivery of naked DNA molecules in cells or tissues. Although used in practice since its introduction in the late 1980's, current protocols for electroporation is far from optimal due to lack of knowledge in exact biophysical mechanisms involved.


At present, most of the biophysical studies on electropore formation and closure are performed on simple model cell systems like lipid bilayers and giant unilamellar vesicles. However, many of the observations on living cells are not consistent with the theoretical predictions from the models developed using these simplified cell systems. At the membrane level, the role of cytoskeleton(a polymer network subjacent to the lipid membrane) in pore formation and closure is still lacking. This hinders creation of a good predictive model for flux of molecules into the cell.

At the cytosol, the journey of DNA from the membrane to the nucleus is in itself an exciting transport phenomena problem involving slow diffusive transport, fast electrophoretic transport during application of electric pulse and fast post-pulse active transport due to the molecular motors. The exact biophysical details regarding active and passive transport of macromolecules inside the cytosol is still lacking. These information will help in developing better protocols and gene transfection technologies like nanochannel electroporation and disruption and field enhanced gene delivery.

Student projects

I have a few M.Sc. projects available which revolves around mechanical characterization of cell membranes(both living cells and cell models from synthetic bottom assembly) using optical tweezers. I also have quite a lot of experience in time resolved stereoscopic particle image velocimetry and fluid mechanics. If you are interested in the topic or have some interesting ideas related to my expertise and interests, please contact me at to discuss the possibilities.

. © Delft University of Technology - PPE group 2015