James Adair

James Adair

(814) 863-6047
Office Address: 
407 Steidle Building
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

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Research Interests: 
  • 2D Materials
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Analysis and Characterization
  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics
  • Chemistry
  • Composites
  • Metals
  • Nanomaterials
  • Optical Materials
  • Physics
  • Synthesis
Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida
M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida
B.S. in Chemistry, University of Florida

Dr. Adair received his B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, all from the University of Florida. From 1981-1982, he was a Fulbright Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Western Australia in the Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition and the Royal Perth Hospital where he studied the biophysical chemistry origin of pathological biomineralization including human kidney stone disease. Dr. Adair was a faculty member from 1990 to 1997 at the University of Florida. He has also held research positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio and the Materials Research Laboratory at Penn State.

Dr. Adair is a Fellow in both the American Ceramic Society and the World Academy of Ceramics, American Chemical Society, Materials Research Society, Sigma Xi, and the New York Academy of Sciences. He was elected as an Academician in the Science Division of the World Academy of Ceramics in 2005. He is past Chair of the Basic Science Division of the American Ceramic Society and has served in various capacities in the American Ceramic Society at both the local and national level. He was named one of the International Men of Achievement in 1996. Dr. Adair has also received recognition for his inventions by Battelle Memorial Institute, Cabot Corporation, the University of Florida, and The Pennsylvania State University.

Research Projects: 

Underpinning our research are the concepts and principles embedded in colloidal and interfacial chemistry. Our objectives in student education at both the undergraduate and graduate level is to integrate a fundamental understanding of materials science with colloid and interfacial chemistry. There are currently two research thrusts in the Particulate Materials Center, both with an aim toward nanomedical applications. The underlying science for both technologies resides in our currently unique ability to colloidally manipulate and process nanoscale (sub-50nm) particulates for drug/bioimaging applications and producing bulk nanograin materials and devices with focus toward reducing the scale of surgical instruments to the sub-100 micron regime. To put the latter effort in perspective, a conventional heart biopsy instrument via catheterization has a scale of 5mm. The drug delivery systems consist of bioresorbable calcium phosphate, nanoporous silica or titania, or calcium phosphosilicate particulates into which medically active substances including drugs, genetic material, peptides, proteins, and fluorescent molecules have been captured. The 2 to 50 nm particulates have been suspended in suspension up to 20 weight percent with resistance to aggregation obtained for up to 36 months. We are utilizing the colloidal understanding of the nanocomposite particles for applications ranging from the delivery of medically active agents to the fabrication of nanograin components and devices. Typical grain sizes produced in our zirconia ceramics are 50 70 nanometers while some of the nanograin metals have grain sizes at the 20 to 40nm scale. Thus, our research directed toward nanocolloids is yielding benefits across a broad spectrum of medical applications.


Author or co-author of over 185 publications, twelve patents, and several copyrights on computer software.

Chair or co-chair of multiple symposia related to materials chemistry and colloid and powder processing science at American Ceramic Society and American Chemical Society national and international meetings.

Co-editor of ten books including the Handbook of Characterization Techniques for the Solid-Solution Interface.