Anuj Chauhan

Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

ChauhanHeadshotOur group is interested in transport and interfacial phenomena in a broad range of biomedical applications with a strong focus on ophthalmology.  We are working in a number of areas including ophthalmic drug delivery, designing lubricious contact lenses, modeling ocular physiology, developing preservative free multi-dose eye-drops, understanding tear film drainage and breakup.

We are developing novel approaches for making ophthalmic drug delivery more efficient and compliant. Eye drops are inefficient at delivering drugs to the eye because a significant portion of the drug drains into the nose or is absorbed into the conjunctiva.  Our group has shown that contact lenses deliver drugs more efficiently with about 50% of the drug reaching the cornea compared to 1% with eye drops.  We have developed novel nanostructured soft contact lenses that deliver ophthalmic drugs for a period of days to weeks with significantly smaller drug loss to the systemic circulation. Animal trials of these lenses proved safety and efficacy, and currently a human study is ongoing.  We are targeting many ophthalmic diseases for lens based therapy with a focus on glaucoma, cystinosis, dry eyes, chemical burns and allergies. Our work in this area has been covered in popular press including, CNN Headline News, and was listed in Reader’s Digest Medical Breakthroughs 2004.  Our group has recently started focusing on drug delivery to the back of the eye, which is currently done through intravitreal injections through the eye ball.  We are exploring the feasibility of delivery to the posterior eye using contact lenses and designing novel devices that can be placed in the vitreous through a single injection to provide extended therapy for a few months.  Our group has recently developed contact lenses containing electrodes and power source to deliver drugs to the eyes through electrophoretic transport.  In addition to designing contact lenses for drug delivery, we are also interested in developing improved contact lenses by increasing lubricity and also improved blocking of UV or selected spectrum of visible light.

Our group is combining mathematical modeling with in vitro experiments to develop a systems-based approach to understand factors that contribute to ‘dry eyes’, which is the most common ocular ailment, and also to develop possible treatments and efficient drug delivery vehicles. We have developed a model for tear dynamics that can predict the steady state tear film thickness, salt concentration and the electrical potential in the eye, and the dependency of these on physiological parameters such as tear secretion rates, salt concentration in the secreted tears, elastic properties of canaliculi, tear evaporation rates, etc. This model helps us understand various aspects of tear film dynamics and also helps us identify potential dry eye treatments. We are also studying a number of transport issues of relevance in ophthalmology. These include lipid spreading on the surface of the tear film, tear film breakup and transport of drug from the front surface of the eye to the retina. The eventual goal of our research efforts is to combine experiments and modeling to develop a comprehensive quantitative model for transport in the eye.

Drug overdose is a major health care problem, as a number of widely used drugs can cause life-threatening toxicities and are without antidotes. Additionally, our soldiers face increasing risk of exposure to dangerous chemical in battlefields.  We are exploring the feasibility of designing nanoparticulates that can potentially sequester the toxic chemicals to mitigate the toxicity. We are also exploring development of opioid formulations that are less prone to abuse than commercial formulations. The ideas and systems that we are developing can be adapted to many other applications both for drug delivery and drug overdose therapy.


222 CoorsTek Center
1523 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 273-3539

Research Group

  • Zachary Sparks, BS, University of Florida
  • Rajeev Mudakavi, PhD


  • Post Doc, University of California, Berkeley
  • PhD, City University of New York
  • Bachelor’s, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Selected Publications

  • P. Dixon, R.C. Fentzke, A. Bhattacharya, A. Konar, S. Hazra, A. Chauhan, In vitro drug release and in vivo safety of vitamin E and cysteamine loaded contact lenses, 2018, International journal of pharmaceutics, 544, 2, 380-391
  • P. Dixon, T. Ghosh, K. Mondal, A. Konar, A. Chauhan, S. Hazra, Controlled delivery of pirfenidone through vitamin E-loaded contact lens ameliorates corneal inflammation, 2018/6/1, Drug delivery and translational research, 1-13
  • K. Hsu, K. Gupta, H. Nayaka, A. Donthi, S. Kaul, A. Chauhan, Multidose Preservative Free Eye drops by Selective Removal of Benzalkonium Chloride from Ocular Formulations, 2017/12/1, Pharmaceutical research, 34, 12, 2862-2872
  • Y. Kapoor, P. Dixon, P. Sekar, A. Chauhan, Incorporation of drug particles for extended release of Cyclosporine A from poly-hydroxyethyl methacrylate hydrogels, 2017/11/1, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 120, 73-79
  • T. Kubo, K.C. Bentz, K.C. Powell, C.A. Figg, J.L. Swartz, M. Tansky, A. Chauhan, D.A. Savin, B.S. Sumerlin, Modular and rapid access to amphiphilic homopolymers via successive chemoselective post-polymerization modification, 2017, Polymer Chemistry, 8, 39, 6028-6032
  • K.C. Powell, R. Damitz, A. Chauhan, Relating emulsion stability to interfacial properties for pharmaceutical emulsions stabilized by Pluronic F68 surfactant, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2017, 521, 1–2, 8-18
  • K.C. Powell, A. Chauhan, Interfacial effects and emulsion stabilization by in situ surfactant generation through saponification of esters, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 2016, 504, 458–470

Honors & Awards

  • Visiting Professor, Hefei University, China
  • College of Engineering Innovation Award 2017
  • 2016 Technology Innovator, University of Florida
  • Anderson Award Faculty Honoree, 2016
  • Best Poster, 18th Annual HHS SBIR/STTR conference, November 16 2016
  • Dinesh O. Shah Term Professorship, 2016-2021
  • UI-RESOLV visiting scholar to the Department of Chemical Engineering University of Indonesia, March 2016
  • College of Engineering Term Professorship, 2016-2019
  • University of Florida, Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Awardee, 2015-2016
  • College of Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Awardee, 2015-2016
  • Anderson Award Faculty Honoree, 2014
  • 2014 Technology Innovator, University of Florida
  • 2013 Technology Innovator, University of Florida
  • 2012 Technology Innovator, University of Florida
  • 2011 Technology Innovator, University of Florida
  • Elected as alternate councilor in the colloids division of the American Chemical Society 2009-2012
  • Medical Breakthrough of the Year in Ophthalmology, Readers Digest, 2004
  • Invited to join the International Society of Contact Lens Research, 2003
  • Research cited on CNN Headline News, ABC, NBC and all major televisions channels and magazines, 2003
  • Invited participant Glaucoma Foundation Think Tank, 2002
  • Abstract of the week, Contact Lenses Today, December 2, 2001
  • Dissertation Year Fellowship from the City University of New York, 1998
  • Robert E. Gilleece Fellowship from the City University of New York, 1993-1997