Professor and Chairman

Phone : +91-80-2293 2769
Fax: +91-80-2360-8121
Email : ayappa at iisc.ac.in
Click here to visit the Group Page


- B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, Mangalore University (1984)
- M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota (1987)
- Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota (1992)


- CH 201 Chemical Engineering Mathematics
- CH 236 Statistical Thermodynamics
- CH 247 Introduction to Molecular Simulations BE 202 Thermodynamics and Transport in Biological Systems


Interfaces play an important role in science and technology occurring in solid-liquid, solid-gas as well as more complex systems encountered in surfactant mesophases and biomolecular systems. Research in our group is focused on primarily understanding molecular and physicochemical properties of these interfaces. We use modeling techniques ranging from ab initio methods to study interactions at the electronic scale, molecular modeling to study the atomistic and mesoscale, as well as continuum models to study heat and mass transport. When a fluid is confined to nanometer dimensions or restricted due to the presence of a surface, the structure and dynamics of the fluid are considerably altered. We are interested in understanding the heterogeneous state of this interfacial fluid; solid, liquid or glass. This has implications while developing nanofluidic devices for transport as well as in unraveling forces between surfaces, with implications in understanding friction and lubrication. Fluids confined in microporous materials are important in the area of hydrogen or methane gas storage for transportation and carbon-dioxide capture. Here we use Monte Carlo simulations to assess a wide variety of materials such as zeolites, metal organic frameworks (MOFs) and porous carbons to study their potential as storage materials.

Biological membranes which are a critical component of all living systems is yet another example of a dynamic soft interface. Using a combination of theoretical, simulation and experimental methods, research in this area is focused on understanding the interactions of pore forming toxins and nanoparticles on supported bilayer membrane platforms and living cells. The precise mechanism for pore formation and ensuing effects on the membrane mechanical properties or mechanical stability of cells that undergo lysis is poorly understood. The interactions of proteins and nanoparticles with bilayer membranes have implications in developing novel drug and gene therapies. In collaboration with faculty in biology and physics we study the effects of protein mutagenesis and dynamics of membrane-protein interactions on supported bilayer platforms using high resolution optical microscopy techniques.

Awards & Honors

- Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering , 2013



1. Super-resolution Stimulated Emission Depletion-Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy Reveals Nanoscale Membrane Reorganization Induced by Pore-Forming Proteins, Nirod Kumar Sarangi, Ilanila I. P, K. G. Ayappa, Sandhya. S. Visweswariah and Jaydeep Kumar Basu , Langmuir,(2016).

2. pH controlled gating of toxic protein pores by dendrimers, Taraknath Mandal, Subbarao Kanchi, Ganapathy Ayappa and Prabal Kumar Maiti, Nanoscale,8,13045 (2016).

3. Structure and Dynamics of Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane Confined between Mica Surfaces, V Vadhana and K. G. Ayappa, Journal of Physical Chemistry B,120(11),2951-2967(2016).).

4. Molecular Dynamics Study of the Structure, Flexibility and Hydrophilicity of PETIM Dendrimers: A Comparison with PAMAM Dendrimers, Kanchi Subbarao, Suresh Gorle, Priyakumar, U. Deva, K. G. Ayappa and Prabal K Maiti,Journal of Physical Chemistry B, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.5b07124 (2015).

5. Estimation of Activation Energy for Electroporation and Pore Growth Rate in Liquid Crystalline and Gel Phases of Lipid Bilayers using Molecular Dynamics Simulations , Amit Kumar Majhi, Subbarao Kanchi, V. Venkataraman, K.G.Ayappa,and Prabal K. Maiti, Soft Matter,11,8632-8640(2015).