Jackson Family Endowed Chair Associate Professor

Office Information:

911 Oval Dr.
4202B EB-III
Raleigh, NC 27695
NC State University

150 MacNider Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
UNC-Chapel Hill
(919) 515-7944


- Postdoc, Chemical Engineering, Koch Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Harvard Medical School - Ph.D., School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles - M.S., Polymer Science and Engineering, Nanjing University - B.S., Chemistry, Nanjing University


zgu3@ncsu.edu, zgu@email.unc.edu

Lab Site:


Research and Publications:


Biomedical Microdevices

Controlled Drug Delivery, Bio-Inspired Materials, Implantable Devices, Biochip Technology, Micro/Nanobiotechnology

Dr. Zhen Gu received his B.S. degree in Chemistry and M.S. degrees in Polymer Chemistry and Physics from Nanjing University. In 2010, he obtained Ph.D. degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the guidance of Prof. Yi Tang in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He was a postdoctoral associate working with Prof. Robert Langer at MIT and Harvard Medical School during 2010 to 2012. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. He also holds joint positions in the Molecular Pharmaceutics Division in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Endocrinology and Metabolism Division in the Department of Medicine at UNC. His group studies controlled drug delivery, bio-inspired materials and nanobiotechnology, especially for cancer and diabetes treatment. He has published over 80 research papers and applied 40 patents. He is a co-founder of two startup companies. Dr. Gu is the recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship (2016), Pathway Award (2015) and Junior Faculty Award (2014) of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Young Innovator Award in Cellular and Molecular Engineering of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES, 2015) and the Sigma Xi Young Faculty Research Award (2014). MIT Technology Review listed him in 2015 as one of the global top innovators under the age of 35 (TR35). GOOD Magazine listed him in 2016 as one of GOOD 100- “100 individuals who are improving the world through creativity and innovation”. His invention- “Smart Insulin Patch” was selected as one of the top 10 images in 2015 by Science.
(Selected from >60 peer-reviewed journal papers; 5 book chapters; 25 patent applications) *: Corresponding authorship 1. Yue Lu, Quanyin Hu, Yiliang Lin, Dennis B. Pacardo, Chao Wang, Wujin Sun, Frances S. Ligler, Michael D. Dickey, Zhen Gu*, “Transformable Liquid-Metal Nanomedicine”, Nature Communications, in press, 2015.
2. Jicheng Yu, Yuqi Zhang, Yanqi Ye, Rocco DiSanto, Wujin Sun, Davis Ranson, Frances Ligler, John Buse, Zhen Gu*, “Microneedle-Array Patches Loaded with Hypoxia-Sensitive Vesicles Provide Fast Glucose-Responsive Insulin Delivery”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. (PNAS), 112(8260), 2015. 3. Samir Mitragotri*, Daniel G. Anderson, Shawn X. Chen, Edward K. Chow, Dean Ho, Alexander V. Kabanov, Jeffrey M. Karp, Kazunori Kataoka, Chad A. Mirkin, Sarah Hurst. Petrosko, Jinjun Shi, Molly M. Stevens, Shouheng Sun, Sweehin Teoh, Subbu S. Venkatraman, Younan Xia, Shutao Wang, Zhen Gu*, Chenjie Xu*, "Accelerating the Translation of Nanomaterials in Biomedicine", ACS Nano, 9(6644), 2015. 4. Quanyin Hu, Chenggen Qian, Yanqi Ye, Chao Wang, Zhen Gu*, “Anticancer Platelet-Mimicking Nanovehicles”, Advanced Materials, in press, 2015. (Cover Feature) 5. Wujin Sun, Wenyan Ji, Jordan M. Hall, Quanyin Hu, Chao Wang, Chase L. Beisel, Zhen Gu*, “Efficient Delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 for Genome Editing via Self-Assembled DNA Nanoclews”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, in press, 2015. (Hot Paper; Cover Feature) 6. Jin Di, Shanshan Yao, Yanqi Ye, Zheng Cui, Jicheng Yu, Tushar K. Ghosh, Young Zhu*, Zhen Gu*, “Stretch-Triggered Drug Delivery from Wearable Elastomer Films Containing Therapeutic Depots”, ACS Nano, in press, 2015. 7. Tianyue Jiang, Wujin Sun, Nancy A. Burns, Saad A. Khan, Ran Mo, Zhen Gu*, “Furin-Mediated Sequential Delivery of Anticancer Cytokine and Small-Molecule Drug Shuttled by Graphene”, Advanced Materials, 27(1021), 2015. (Cover Feature) 8. Ran Mo, Tianyue Jiang, Rocco DiSanto, Wanyi Tai, Zhen Gu*, “ATP-Triggered Anticancer Drug Delivery” Nature Communications, 5(3364), 2014. 9. Wujin Sun, Tianyue Jiang, Yue Lu, Margaret Reiff, Ran Mo, Zhen Gu*, “Cocoon-Like Self-Degradable DNA-Nanoclew for Anticancer Drug Delivery”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136(14722), 2014. 10. Muxun Zhao, Yarong Liu, Renee Hsieh, Nova Wang, Kye-ll Joo, Pin Wang, Zhen Gu, Yi Tang*, “Clickable Protein Nanocapsules for Targeted Delivery of Recombinant p53 Protein” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136 (15319), 2014. 11. Ran Mo, Tianyue Jiang, Zhen Gu*, “Enhanced Anticancer Efficacy by ATP-Mediated Liposomal Drug Delivery”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53(5810), 2014. 12. Wanyi Tai, Ran Mo, Yue Lu, Tianyue Jiang, Zhen Gu*, “Folding Drug-Pending Segment into Nanocarriers for Co-Delivery of Anticancer Drugs”, Biomaterials, 35(7194), 2014. 13. Tianyue Jiang†, Ran Mo†, Adriano Bellotti, Jianping Zhou, Zhen Gu*, “Gel-Liposome-Mediated Co-Delivery of Anticancer Membrane-Associated Proteins and Small-Molecule Drugs for Enhanced Therapeutic Efficacy” Advanced Functional Materials, 24(2295), 2014. (Cover Feature) 14. Jin Di, Jennifer Price, Xiao Gu, Xiaoning Jiang, Yun Jing, Zhen Gu*, “Ultrasound-Triggered Regulation of Blood Glucose Levels Using Injectable Nano-Network”, Advanced Healthcare Materials, 3(811), 2014. (Cover Feature) 15. Ran Mo, Tianyue Jiang, Jin Di, Wanyi Tai, Zhen Gu*, “Emerging Micro- and Nanotechnology Based Synthetic Approaches for Insulin Delivery”, Chemical Society Reviews, 43(3595), 2014. 16. Zhen Gu, Tram Dang, Minglin Ma, Yunlong Zhang, Robert Langer, Daniel Anderson*, “Microgels Integrated with Enzyme Nanocapsules for Intelligent Insulin Delivery” ACS Nano, 7(6758), 2013. 17. Zhen Gu, Alex Aimetti, Tram Dang, Yunlong Zhang, Omid Veiseh, Hao Cheng, Robert Langer, Daniel Anderson*, “Injectable Nano-Network for Glucose-Mediated Insulin Delivery” ACS Nano, 7(4194), 2013. (Cover Feature) 18. Zhen Gu*, Anuradha Biswas, Muxun Zhao, Yi Tang, “Tailoring Nanocarriers for Intracellular Protein Delivery”, Chemical Society Reviews, 40 (3638), 2011. 19. Anuradha Biswas, Kye-Il Joo, Jing Liu, Muxun Zhao, Guoping Fan, Pin Wang, Zhen Gu*, Yi Tang*, “Endoprotease-mediated Intracellular Protein Delivery Using Nanocapsule”, ACS Nano, 5 (1385), 2011. 20. Ming Yan†, Juanjuan Du†, Zhen Gu, Min Liang, Yufang Hu, Wenjun Zhang, Tatiana Segura*, Zheng Liu*, Yi Tang*, Yunfeng Lu*, “Novel Intracellular Protein Delivery Platform Based on Single-Protein Nanocapsules” Nature Nanotechnology, 5 (48), 2010. 21. Zhen Gu, Ming Yan, Biliang Hu, Kye-Il Joo, Anuradha Biswas, Yu Huang, Yunfeng Lu, Pin Wang, Yi Tang, “Protein Nanocapsule Weaved with Enzymatically Degradable Polymeric Network” Nano Letters, 12(4533), 2009. 22. Zhen Gu*, Suxian Huang, Yong Chen*, “Biomolecular Nanopatterning by Magnetic Electric Lithography” Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 48(952), 2009. (Cover Feature)
A full publication list