Fromen Research Group

Engineering Particle-Lung Interactions

Welcome to the Fromen Research Group!  Our research is all about the lungs. We seek to advance understanding of the unique environment of the airways, from fluid dynamics to mucosal immunology. Armed with this foundation, we develop new therapeutics and analytical tools to treat a range of diseases specific to the lungs.

Two papers!

Congrats to the Fromen lab members for two new publications accepted this past week!

“Biomaterials-Based Opportunities to Engineer the Pulmonary Host Immune Response in COVID-19” was accepted in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. In this review article, we document the current understanding of the immune response in the lung during COVID-19 infection and offer a collection of promising particle engineering strategies as potential therapeutic solutions. Congrats to Bader, Zach, Kartik, April, and Cathy on this publication!

“Check the Gap: Facemask Performance and Exhaled Aerosol Distributions Around the Wearer” was accepted in PLOS ONE. In this work, we demonstrate changes in exhaled aerosol distributions with and without facemasks and showcase how important the fit around the face is for different facemask types. Our most important finding: particle size distributions escaping from gaps around a facemask are on average larger than the normal particle size distribution without a mask – this points to a secondary benefit of wearing a mask where it not only traps particles, but also promotes aerosol evolution into larger particle sizes that can settle out of the airstream faster. So, keep masking up! Congrats to Emily, Zach, Ian, and Cathy on this publication!

Head over to the Publication page for links to the papers, which will be updated as soon as the articles appear online.

A Thankful Fromen Lab

As we head into Thanksgiving week, the Fromen lab has a lot to be thankful for!

First, we welcome into the group our new Chemical Engineering PhD student, Areej Shahid! Areej completed her undergraduate degree at UMBC and will be working on nanoparticle designs for pulmonary immune engineering applications. Welcome Areej!

Some belated paper congratulations are in order:

  • Congratulations to Emma and Emily on their published manuscript in JOVE Bioengineering “Evaluating Regional Pulmonary Deposition Using Patient-Specific 3D Printed Lung Models”!
  • Congratulations to Bader, Zach, Lucas and our co-authors in the Bloch lab for their published manuscript in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces “Evaluating UiO-66 Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) Nanoparticles as Acid-Sensitive Carriers for Pulmonary Drug Delivery Applications”!

The paper cakes are accumulating… Congrats to all of the authors on their excellent contributions!

Head over to our Publications Page for all of the links to these great articles and more.


Congratulations to Prof Fromen for being selected as one of this year’s AIChE 35 Under 35 Award Winners! Selected by the AIChE and the Young Professionals Committee (YPC), the award honors 35 engineers under the age of 35 that are selected every 2-3 years for their outstanding work with the Institute and within the chemical engineering profession. Congrats to Prof Fromen and all of the other award winners for this outstanding recognition!

You can read more about the award winners here:

You can read more about the two UD Award Winners in the UDaily article here:


Presentation Updates:

The Fromen lab has also been out and about presenting our work virtually this past semester. Congrats to all for awesome pre-recorded AIChE 2020 Talks! You can watch the recorded talks below on youtube:

  • Emily Kolewe Lobe-Specific Aerosol Targeting in a 3D Printed Lung Model. Medical Devices Session. Presentation Link
  • Emily Kolewe Aerosol Therapeutic Delivery in 3D Printed Pediatric Airway Replicas. Multi-scale Transport Considerations for Drug Delivery Session. Presentation Link
  • Kartik Bomb Utilizing Variable Substrate Stiffness to Investigate Macrophage Response in Healthy and Fibrotic Pulmonary Microenvironment. Hydrogel Biomaterials: Emerging Applications Session. Presentation Link
  • Bader Jarai Inert Particles for Enhancing the Survival of Primary Macrophages. Bionanotechnology Graduate Student Award Session. Presentation Link

Congrats to Bader who won Second Place in this Award Session! Bader also participated in the Virtual 2nd Annual Immune Modulation & Engineering Symposium earlier in November and was selected for a student talk there as well!

Prof Fromen also gave virtual seminars in the Chemical Engineering Departments of Univ of Iowa and Carneige Melon in October. Thank you to the organizers for the invitations – it was great to visit and meet with new colleagues, awesome students, and old friends!


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