Jessica D. Schiffman

N533 Life Science Laboratories
Chemical Engineering Department
University of Massachusetts Amherst
686 N. Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9303
413-545-6143 (Office)
413-545-1647 (FAX)


Schiffman Research Group Page



B.S., Rutgers University, Ceramic & Materials Engineering, 2003
M.Eng., Cornell University, Materials Science & Engineering, 2004
Ph.D., Drexel University, Materials Science & Engineering, 2009

Post-Doc, Yale University, Chemical & Environmental Engineering


Research Interests.

  • Materials science and engineering
  • Renewable biopolymers and bioactive natural products
  • Nanostructure synthesis
  • Antibacterial surfaces
  • Water and wastewater treatment


Research Overview

The Schiffman Lab aims to elucidate and employ the materials properties of renewable biopolymers and bioactive products for the sustainable synthesis of novel nanostructures. Polymers derived from natural sources have inherent qualities that make them superior to synthetic polymers. They are antibacterial, biodegradable, biocompatible, chelate ions, and have coagulation capabilities. Natural products, like plant derivatives exhibit wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity. By analyzing the chemistry, processability, and biological functionality of these agents we are able to engineer and characterize devices that address public health concerns in biomedical and environmental fields. Currently, applications of interest include antibiofilm coatings, nanofiber scaffolds for wound healing, as well as membranes that selectively remove contaminants. Our research is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing  influences from chemical engineering, materials science engineering, environmental engineering, and microbiology.


Select Publications

Rieger, K.A., Birch, N.P., Schiffman, J.D. (2013) "Designing electrospun nanofiber mats to promote wound healing – A review" Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 1(36) 4531 - 4541

Hoover, L.A., Schiffman, J.D., Elimelech, M. (2013) "Nanofibers in thin-film osite membrane support layers: Enabling expanded application of forward and pressure retarded osmosis" Desalination. 308, 73-81.

Engel, Y., Schiffman, J.D., Goddard, J.D., Rotello, V.M. (2012) "Nanomanufacturing of biomaterials" Materials Today. 15(11) 80-87.

Zodrow, K.R., Schiffman, J.D., Elimelech, M. (2012) "Biodegradable polymer (PLGA) coatings featuring cinnamaldehyde and carvacrol mitigate biofilm formation" Langmuir. 28(39) 13993–13999.

Schiffman, J.D., Wang, Y., Giannelis, E.P., Elimelech, M. (2011) "Biocidal activity of plasma modified electrospun polysulfone mats functionalized with polyethyleneimine-capped silver nanoparticles." Langmuir. 27(21) 13159-13164.

Schiffman, J.D., Elimelech, M. (2011) "Antibacterial activity of electrospun polymer mats with incorporated narrow diameter single-walled carbon nanotubes." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 3(2) 462-468.

Vecitis, C.D., Schnoor, M., Rahaman, M.S., Schiffman, J.D., Elimelech, M., (2011) "Electrochemical multiwalled carbon nanotube filter for viral and bacterial removal and inactivation." Environmental Science & Technology. 45 (8) 3672–3679.

Yip, N.Y., Tiraferri, A., Phillip, W.A., Schiffman, J.D., Hoover, L.A., Kim, Y.C., Elimelech, M. (2011) "Thin-film composite pressure retarded osmosis membranes for sustainable power generation from salinity gradients."Environmental Science & Technology. 45(10) 4360–4369.

Tiraferri, A., Yip, N.Y., Phillip, W.A., Schiffman, J.D., Elimelech, M. (2011) "Relating performance of thin-film composite forward osmosis membranes to support layer structure and formation."Journal of Membrane Science. 367, 340-352.

Yip, N.Y., Tiraferri, A., Phillip, W.A., Schiffman, J.D., Elimelech, M. (2010) "High performance thin-film composite membrane for forward osmosis desalination." Environmental Science & Technology. 44(10) 3812-3818.

Laudenslager, M.L., Schiffman, J.D., Schauer, C.L. (2008) "Carboxymethyl chitosan as a matrix material for platinum, gold, and silver nanoparticles." Biomacromolecules. 9(10) 2682-2685.

Schiffman, J.D., Schauer, C.L. (2008) "A review: Electrospinning of biopolymer nanofibers and their applications." Polymer Reviews. 48(2) 317-352.

Schiffman, J.D., Schauer, C.L. (2007) One-step electrospinning of cross-linked chitosan nanofibers. Biomacromolecules. 8(9) 2665-2667.

Schiffman, J.D., Schauer, C.L. (2007) "Cross-linking chitosan nanofibers." Biomacromolecules. 8(2) 594-601.