Professor Wenlong Cheng

Professor Wenlong Cheng

Department of Chemical Engineering
Room 302, 82, Clayton Campus

Professor Wenlong Cheng is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University and an Ambassador Technology Fellow at the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication. He earned his PhD from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2005 and his BS from Jilin University, China in 1999. He held positions at the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics and the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering of Cornell University before joining Monash University in 2010. His research interest lies at the Nano-Bio interface, particularly soft/hard nanohybrids for soft plasmonics, soft electronics and smart theranostics. He has published ~90 journal papers including in Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Materials and Nature Communications.

Research Experience and Employment History:

2010-present Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Australia.


  • Bachelors of Science (BS), Jilin University, China
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Research Interests

Professor Cheng’s nanobionics research laboratory focuses on the rational design of nanobionic materials system by combining design rules in microelectronic and biological systems. He enables this concept through a highly interdisciplinary research program across chemistry, biology, material science and microelectronic engineering. The main goals of the nanobionics laboratory is to synthesize function high quality nanocrystals and conjugate them with biomolecules; rationally program synthesis of nanobiomaterials; elucidate the fundamental structure-function relationships; develop adaptive nanobioelectronic devices.

His research group is currently investigating:

  • Synthesis of high-quality size- and shape-controlled metal nanoparticles and their functionalization by biomolecules such as DNA, towards designing exotic smart metamaterials.
  • Plasmonic nanoparticles for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. Isogentic health/tumor cell lines have been successfully used for synthesizing tumor cell-specific DNA aptamers, the aptamer-conjugated gold nanoparticles could target cancel cells and enhance tumor cell killing upon light illumination.
  • Nano-enabled wearable biomedical diagnostic tools for monitoring key health information anytime anywhere. Ultrathin gold and copper nanowires have been successfully used to synthesize unique electronic skin materials which were then used to fabricate wearable sensors for real-time monitoring wrist pulses, tendon movement, skin/muscle health, etc.

Research Projects

Not started projects

Rapid prototyping 3-D nano-pattern large area writer

The extension of patterning nanostructured materials in 3-dimensions with nanometre resolution, developed for semiconductor processing, to nano electronics, nano-photonics, nano-sensors, nanobiotechnology and fundamental studies of nanoscale phenomena in science and engineering has opened unprecedented opportunities in these areas. As these areas accelerate there is a need to develop nanoscale patterns and structures via rapid prototyping pathways and with methods accessible to an ever-diverse researcher base without a background in nanofabrication. By establishing the first NanoFrazor in Australia, this project aims to provide a step change technology for the fabrication of high-resolution nanoscale structures and patterns.

Current projects

Targeting Activated Platelets: A novel innovative approach for the sensitive detection and therapeutic targeting of various cancers and their metastases

Programming Soft Plasmene Nanosheets with Living RAFT Functional Polymers

Monash NanoBionics lab has recently invented plasmene defined – in analogy to graphene – as free-standing, one-particle-thick, superlattice sheets of plasmonic nanoparticles. Plasmene represents a conceptually new class of 2D metamaterials with broad applications in energy, environment, sensors and optoelectronic devices. This project aims to substantially expand the initial success to demonstrate an array of programmable materials properties using living RAFT polymeric ligands towards applications in soft sensors, optical lens and photoconductance devices. This will generate new knowledge and important patentable technologies, contributing to further advance Australian worldwide standing in the field of nanotechnology and polymer science.

Integration of E-Skin Sensors into 3M Body Support

Electronic Skin Nanopatches for Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring

Built upon Monash electronic skin technology platform with the world thinnest gold nanowires, this project aims to develop soft, thin, wearable and non-invasive heart health monitors allowing for continuously monitoring blood
pressures anytime anywhere. The project will bring together nanotechnologist, electrical engineers, clinicians, information technologist and industrial design disciplines. We will collaborate to develop to develop blood pressure correlation algorithm and evaluate the sensing performances, which will create new knowledge and technologies paving the way towards future commercialisation. This will contribute to the the growth of Australian MedTech industries as competitive global leaders in wearable technology industries.

Organically-Capped Copper Nanowires for Soft Electronic Skin Sensors

Soft skin-like electronics can enable applications that are impossible to achieve with today’s rigid circuit board technologies. However, it is difficult to realise such future soft electronics with traditional materials and conventional manufacturing methodologies. This project aims to synthesise novel organically-capped copper nanowires as electronic inks (e-inks) for developing cost-effective, soft, stretchable conductor (e-Skin) sensors, which are wearable for monitoring blood pulses, body motions and hand gestures in real-time and in-situ. This will advance our knowledge in nanotechnology and generate patentable technologies in soft e-Skin sensors, therefore, will bring significant scientific and economic gains to Australia.

nano infrared and sub micron Raman spectroscopy and imaging.

Near field infrared (IR) spectroscopy and imaging systems will be coupled to near-field scanning optical microscopes to provide IR spectroscopy and molecular images.

Past projects

Engineering a Novel Bioreactor and Cell Sorter for Pluripotent Stem Cell Culture

Smart-mattress development and feasibility testing for spinal alignment functions

Micro/Nanofluidic Characterisation Facility

Microfluidics promises to enable diagnosis of medical diseases using devices which perform laboratory experiments but on a scale which means the entire system can be hand-held. Whilst the fabrication of miniaturised fluidic channels is well established, the challenge is to bring additional functions onto the chip reducing the reliance on external pumps and electronics. This facility will allow the characterisation of technologies which address on-chip sample preparation using pulsed ultrasonic waves, filtration and pumping using nanofluidic structures, and detection using on-chip circuitry. As such the facility will have the capability to directly address the challenges which must be met to allow diagnosis in rural underprivileged areas.

Developing Multi-Scale Technologies for Two-Dimensional Metal Nanoparticle Superlattice Sheets

Nanoparticle superlattices refer to highly ordered nanoparticle arrays, which are a new class of crystalline materials with collective properties different from those of bulk phase crystals, isolated nanocrystals and even disordered nanocrystal assemblies. However nanoparticle superlattice is still in the embryonic stage of development due to the lack of multiscale technologies. This project aims to develop such important technologies to produce two-dimensional nanoparticle superlattice sheets for novel energy-harvesting devices. This will generate new knowledge and important patentable technologies for future energy industries, contributing to further advance Australian knowledge base and build a greener world.

Development of the Thinnest Possible, Multifunctional DNA-Nanoparticle Membranes for Ultrafast Filtration and Smart Sensing

Ultimate version of artificial membranes will be extremely thin and multifunctional with cell-membrane-like attributes. Built upon our previous success, this project will apply nanobiocolloids to develop the thinnest possible, multifunctional nanoparticle membranes and establish concept, methodologies and technologies for such innovative 2D materials systems. This will provide new knowledge and key technologies for developing intelligent membranes with multifunctionalities (ultrafast filtration and smart sensing) required in energy and environmental industries as well in healthcare.

Research articles, papers & publications

See Wenlong Cheng’s research contributions through published book chapters, articles, journal papers and in the media.

Last modified: 11/10/2018