Photo of James Wilking

Office: 314 Barnard Hall
Specialty: Physical and material biofilm properties


Dr. Jim Wilking earned his PhD in chemistry from UCLA. He spent five years as a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University before coming to MSU. Jim is interested in any research problem involving the physics of soft or biological materials. 

Research Interests

Physical and material properties of microbial biofilms, mechanics of soft materials, colloidal and nanomaterials synthesis with specific applications in pharmaceutical formulations, microfluidics, developmental biology, biomaterials, emulsions, colloids, complex fluids, smallangle neutron scattering, microscopy, optical trapping

Lab website
Courses, Grants, Outreach


Podcast : Nano Sized Medicine featuring Dr. Wilking

Related News

MSU receives $1.5 million for cutting-edge, versatile research equipment MSU News 11/05/2020

MSU researchers win $3 million NIH grant to study gut immune system MSU News 10/30/2019

Two CBE PhD students collaborate on polymer research  CBE News 07/25/2019

MSU researchers use 3-D printing to push knowledge of microbial communities  MSU News 05/22/2019

3D Printing Microbe Biofilms to Reduce Methane R&D Magazine 10/31/2017

MSU researchers receive $1.8 million to study methane-converting microbes MSU News 10/18/2017


  • A. Clark, C. Shi, B. Ng, J. N. Wilking, A. Ayzner, A. Stieg, B. Schwartz, T. Mason, Y. Rubin, S. Tolbert, Self-assembling semiconducting polymers-rods and gels from electronic materials, ACS Nano, 7, 962 (2013).
  • J. N. Kheir, B. D. Polizzotti, L. M. Thomson, D. W. O’Connell, K. J. Black, R. W. Lee, J. N. Wilking, A. C. Graham, D. C. Bell, F. X. McGowan, Bulk Manufacture of Concentrated Oxygen Gas-Filled Microparticles for Intravenous Oxygen Delivery, Adv. Healthcare Mater. Early View Online (2013).
  • J. N. Wilking, V. Zaburdaev, M. De Volder, R. Losick, M. P. Brenner, D. A. Weitz, Liquid transport facilitated by channels in Bacillus subtilis biofilms, PNAS, 110, 848 (2013).
  • Featured in Editors’ Choice, Science, 339, 121 (2013).
  • Featured in Research Highlights, Nature Reviews Microbiology, 11, 73 (2013).
  • W. J. Duncanson, M. Zieringer, O. Wagner, J. N. Wilking, A. Abbaspourrad, R. Haag, D. A. Weitz, Microfluidic synthesis of monodisperse porous microspheres with size-tunable pores, Soft Matter, 8, 10636 (2012).
  • P. J. Lu, F. Giavazzi, T. E. Angelini, E. Zaccarelli, F. Jargstorff, A. B. Schofield, J. N. Wilking, M. B. Romanowsky, D. A. Weitz, and R. Cerbino, Characterizing concentrated, multiply-scattering and actively-driven fluorescent systems with Confocal Differential Dynamic Microscopy (ConDDM), Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 218103 (2012).
  • A. Seminara, T. E. Angelini, J. N. Wilking, H. Vlamakis, S. Ebrahim, R. Kolter, D. A. Weitz, and M. P. Brenner, Osmotic spreading of Bacillus subtilis biofilms driven by an extracellular matrix, PNAS, 109, 1116 (2012).
  • J. N. Wilking, T. E. Angelini, A. Seminara, M. P. Brenner, and D. A. Weitz. Biofilms as complex fluids, MRS Bulletin, 26, 385 (2011).
  • J. N. Wilking, C. B. Chang, M. M. Fryd, L. Porcar and T. G. Mason, Shear-induced disruption of dense nanoemulsion gels, Langmuir, 27, 9 (2011).
  • J. N. Wilking and T. G. Mason, Optically driven nonlinear rotational microrheology of gelatin, Phys. Rev. E. 77 (2008).
  • J. N. Wilking and T. G. Mason, Multiple trapped states and angular Kramers hopping of complex dielectric shapes in a simple optical trap, Europhys. Lett. 81, 58005 (2008).
  • Optical manipulation of the colloidal alphabet featured in: Down to the Letter, Nature Technology Feature, 446, 940 (2007). ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’ Exhibition Website, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • J. N. Wilking and T. G. Mason, Irreversible shear-induced vitrification of droplets into elastic nanoemulsions by extreme rupturing, Phys. Rev. E. 75, 041407 (2007).
  • H. Guo, J. N. Wilking, D. Liang, T. G. Mason, J. L. Harden, and R. L. Leheny, Slow, nondiffusive dynamics in concentrated nanoemulsions, Phys. Rev. E. 75, 041401 (2007).
  • T. G. Mason, J. N. Wilking, K. Meleson, C. B. Chang, S. M. Graves, Nanoemulsions: formation, structure, and physical properties, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 18, R635 (2006).
  • Featured in IoP Condensed Matter: Top Papers 2006 Showcase
  • T. G. Mason, S. M. Graves, J. N. Wilking and M. Y. Lin, Effective structure factor of osmotically deformed nanoemulsions, Journal of Physical Chemistry: B 110, 44, 22097 (2006).
  • T. G. Mason, S. M. Graves, J. N. Wilking, M.Y. Lin, Extreme emulsification: formation and structure of nanoemulsions, Condensed Matter Physics 45, 193 (2006).
  • J. N. Wilking, S. M. Graves, C. B. Chang, K. Meleson, M. Y. Lin and T. G. Mason, Dense cluster formation during aggregation and gelation of attractive slippery nanoemulsion droplets, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 015501, (2006).
  • Featured in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology
  • S. Graves, K. Meleson, J. Wilking, M. Y. Lin and T. G. Mason, Structure of concentrated nanoemulsions, J. Chem. Phys. 122, 134703 (2005).
  • J. N. Wilking, B. Hsieh and G. A. Arbuckle-Keil, Chlorine precursor route to poly(2-phenoxy p-phenylene vinylene): synthesis and characterization, Synth. Met. 149, 63 (2005).
  • Featured on the cover of Synthetic Metals.
  • J. N. Wilking, C. J. Manning and G. A. Arbuckle-Keil, Characterization of an optoelectronic polymer, poly(2-phenoxy p-phenylene vinylene), and its precursor polymer by dynamic infrared spectroscopy, Applied Spectroscopy 53, 304 (2004).
  • G. A. Arbuckle-Keil, Y. Liszewski, J. Wilking and B. Hsieh, In situ analysis of the thermal elimination reaction in the synthesis of poly(p-phenylene vinylene) (PPV) and PPV derivatives, ed. J. E. Puskas, T. E. Long and R. F. Storey (Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, NY, 2003), pp. 173-186.

Biofilm related publications searchable via the CBE Publications Database


  • “Elastic Vitrification of Emulsions by Droplet Rupturing,” Thomas G. Mason, James N. Wilking, Sara M. Graves, Kieche Meleson, US Pat. App. 12/518,792, filed Jan. 22, 2008.
  • “Systems and Methods for Producing Multi-Component Colloidal Structures,” Thomas G. Mason and James N. Wilking, US Pat. App. 12/670,913, filed Aug. 27, 2008.
  • “Systems and Methods of Templating Using Particles such as Colloidal Particles,” David A. Weitz, Roland S. Koltzenburg, Jens B. Rieger, Andre R. Studart and James N. Wilking, Int. Pat. App. PCT/US2010/000748, filed Dec. 03, 2010.