Close Menu
Andrew E . Ekpenyong, MS, PhD

Associate Professor


A Ekpenyong


College of Arts and Sciences
Graduate School
Medical Physics (Master of Science)
Physics (Master of Science)
African Studies
HLSB - Hixson Lied Science Building - G71

Andrew E . Ekpenyong, MS, PhD

Associate Professor


Fr Andrew Ekpenyong joined the Physics Department as a faculty member in 2014. He teaches Quantum Mechanics, General Physics, Nuclear Instruments and Methods, Biological Physics and  Medical Physics courses such as Dosimetry. Fr Andrew also coordinates the undergraduate teaching laboratories. His research is at the interface of physics and biomedicine with a translational focus. For instance, he has developed microfluidic mimetics enabling in vitro modelling of the human pulmonary microcirculation with potential impact on the clinical management of lung diseases and inflammatory disorders. He established and runs the Translational Biomedical Physics Research Group (TBP) (see  A Creighton alumnus, Fr Andrew earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, and did postdoctoral work at Technische Universität, Dresden, Germany.

Teaching Interests

  • Medical Physics (didactic and research)

Research Focus

Almost all the vital signs are biophysical properties: blood pressure, pulse rate, body temperature, etc. With collaborators from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, the School of Medicine, Creighton University, as well as international collaborators in the UK and Germany, I develop and use novel biophysical tools to discover new biomarkers that provide diagnostic information and new therapeutic options. I address the physician’s wish list in order to improve disease diagnosis, patient monitoring, drug development and testing, etc. While these efforts seek to improve biomedicine using principles and tools of physics, I also aim at advancing the physics of complex systems such as living matter. In particular, I seek to understand how biological cells function as mechanical units, with material properties.




Associate Professor


  • Spectrum Press
    Ekpenyong AE (2007) Basics of Physics for Senior Secondary Schools 3 Vols, Spectrum Books, Ibadan, Nigeria.
    3, p. 777 2007
  • Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice
    Ekpenyong AE (2005) On the Many Faces of AIDS: Biblical, Medical, and Moral Perspectives on HIV/AIDS. Temavic, Calabar, Nigeria. 2005


  • Methods in Cell Biology
    Schurmann, M., Scholze, J., Muller, P., Chan, C. J., Ekpenyong, A. E., Chalut, K. J., Guck, J. Refractive index measurements of single, spherical cells using digital holographic microscopy
    125, p. 143-159 2015
  • Nature Methods
    Otto, O., Rosendahl, P., Mietke, A., Golfier, S., Herold, C., Klaue, D., Girardo, S., Pagliara, S., Ekpenyong, A., Jacobi, A., Wobus, M., Topfner, N., Keyser, U. F., . . . Guck, J. Real-time deformability cytometry: on-the-fly cell mechanical phenotyping
    12, p. 199-202> 4 p following 202 2015
  • Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
    Ekpenyong AE, N Toepfner, ER Chilvers, J Guck. (2015) Mechan- otransduction in neutrophil activation and deactivation. doi:10.1016/j.bbamcr.2015.07.015.
    1853:11, p. 3105-3116 2015
  • Biophysical Journal
    Chan CJ,Ekpenyong AE*, Golfier S, Li W, Chalut KJ, et al. (2015) Myosin II activity softens cells in suspension. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2015.03.009. (Where * indicates co-first author). 2015
  • Nature Methods
    Otto O, Rosendahl P, Mietke A, Golfier S, Herold C, Klaue D, Girardo S, Pagliara S, Ekpenyong A, et al.  Real-time deformabil- ity cytometry: on-the-fly cell mechanical phenotyping.  doi:10.1038/nmeth.3281
    12:3, p. 199-202 2015
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Man SM,Ekpenyong AE*, Tourlomousis T, Achouri S, Cammarota E, et al. (2014) Actin polymerization as a novel innate immune effector mechanism to control Salmonella infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA doi:10.1073/pnas.1419925111. (Where * indicates co-first author). 2014
  • Interface Focus
    Holmes D, Whyte G, Bailey J, Vergara-Irigaray N, Ekpenyong AE, et al. (2014) Separation of blood cells with differing deformability using deterministic lateral displacement.
    4:6 2014
  • Biophysical Journal
    Ekpenyong A, Guck J (2014) The Evolution of Mechanical Properties of Differentiating Stem Cells is Fate-and Function-Dependent.
    106:2, p. 42a 2014
  • J Biophotonics
    Ekpenyong AE, Man SM, Achouri S, Bryant C, Guck J, et al. Bacterial infection of macrophages induces decrease in refractive in- dex. doi:10.1002/jbio.201200113
    6:5, p. 393-397 2013
  • Acta Mechanica
    Boyde L, Ekpenyong A, Whyte G, Guck J. Elastic Theory for the Deformation of a Solid or Layered Spheroid under Axisymmetric Loading.
    224:4, p. 819-839 2013
  • PLoS One
    Ekpenyong AE, Whyte G, Chalut K, Pagliara S, Lautenschlæger F, et al. (2012) Viscoelastic Properties of Differentiating Blood Cells Are Fate- and Function-Dependent. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045237
    7, p. e45237 2012
  • Integrative and Comparative Biology
    Chalut KJ, Ekpenyong AE*, Clegg WL, Melhuish IC, Guck J Quantifying cellular differentiation by physical phenotype using digital holographic microscopy. doi:10.1039/c2ib00129b
    4, p. 280-284 2012
  • Applied Optics
    Boyde L, Ekpenyong A, Whyte G, Guck J (2012) Comparison of stresses on homogeneous spheroids in the optical stretcher computed with geometrical optics and generalized Lorenz-Mie theory.
    51:33, p. 7934-7944 2012
  • SPIE NanoScience and Engineering
    Whyte G, Lautenschlæger F, Kreysing M, Boyde L, Ekpenyong A, De- labre U, et al. (2010) Dual-beam laser traps in biology and medicine: when one beam is not enough , p. 77620G-77620G-6 2010
  • Biomedical Optics
    Jacobs KM, Ding J, Yang LV, Reynolds CL, Ekpenyong AE, Feng Y et al. (2010) Diffraction Imaging Flow Cytometric and 3-D Morpholog- ical Analysis of Three Cell Lines. OSA Technical Digest (CD) paper BTuD44 2010
  • Applied Optics
    Ekpenyong AE, Posey CL, Chaput JL, Burkart AK, Marquardt MM, et al.  Determination of cell elasticity through hybrid ray optics and continuum mechanics modeling of cell deformation in the optical stretcher. doi:10.1364/AO.48.006344
    48, p. 6344-6354 2009
  • J Biophotonics
    Jacobs KM, Yang L V., Ding J, Ekpenyong AE, Castellone R, et al. (2009) Diffraction imaging of spheres and melanoma cells with a microscope objective. doi:10.1002/jbio.200910044
    2, p. 521-527 2009
  • Proceedings of SPIE
    Ekpenyong AE, Ding J, Yang L V., Leffler NR, Lu JQ, et al. (2009) Study of 3D cell morphology and effect on light scattering distribution. doi:10.1117/12.831510
    7367, p. 1J-7 2009
  • Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice
    Ekpenyong, Andrew E, (2004) World Year of Physics 2005 and the Planetary Emergencies in Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference of the Science Teachers’ Association of Nigeria, ed. Matthias Akale, Heinemann Books, Ibadan, Nigeria.
    Paper 37, p. 192-196 2004


  • Institute of Physics, Qantitative Methods in Gene Regulation
    Ekpenyong AE, Chalut K, Whyte G, Guck J. (2011) Optical stretching and digital holography quantify physical phenotypes of differentiating cells. Institute of Physics, Quantitative Methods in Gene Regulation, London. 2011
  • Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice
    Ekpenyong, AE, and MG Nichols. (2007) Hybrid Ray Optics and Continuum Mechanics Modeling of Cell Deformation in the Optical Stretcher. in Frontiers in Optics 2007/Laser Science XXIII/Organic Materials and Devices for Displays and Energy Conversion. Optical Society of America, Washington, DC.JWC11. 2007


  • Sruti Prathivadhi, Carolyn Taylor, Jianhao Ning, Michael Nichols, Andrew Ekpenyong, Effects of chemotherapy-induced alterations in cell mechanical properties on cancer metastasis. Annual Meeting, American Physical Society, Maryland, 2016
  • Sruti Prathivadhi, Carolyn Taylor, Jianhao Ning, Michael Nichols, Andrew Ekpenyong. Cell mechanical properties and cancer metastasis: effects of cancer drugs and radiotherapy. Annual Meeting, Biophysical Society of America, Los Angeles 2016
  • Carolyn Taylor, Sruti Prathivadhi, Jianhao Ning, Michael Nichols, Andrew Ekpenyong. Microfluidic devices for biomechanical assessment of metastatic effects of cancer drugs. Global Health Conference-Midwest, Omaha, 2016
  • Sruti Prathivadhi, Michael Nichols, Nathan Pennington, Andrew Ekpenyong. Mathematically Modeling Cancer Metastasis through Mechanical Properties Detected by a Microfluidic Microcirculation Mimetic Device. National MAA MathFest Conference in Washington D.C., 2015
  • Ekpenyong, AE, Whyte, GB, Chalut, KJ, Pagliara, S, Guck, JR, et al. Contributions of actin and myosin to creep compliance of blood stem cells during differentiation. Optical Trapping and Optical Micro- manipulation X, SPIE NanoScience and Engineering. 28 Aug 2013, San Diego, USA. 2013
  • Ekpenyong, AE, Schuermann, M, Man, SM, Achouri, S, Guck, J, et al. Monitoring cell differentiation and infection using Digital Holographic Microscopy. European Conferences on Biomedical Optics (ECBO). 12 May, 2013, Munich, Germany. 2013
  • Ekpenyong, AE, Whyte, GB, Lautenschlaeger, F, Guck, JR, et al.Viscoelastic properties of differentiating blood stem cells evolve to suit their func- tions. Spring Meeting of the German Physical Society (DPG). 15 March 2013, Regensburg, Germany. 2013
  • Ekpenyong, AE, Guck, JR, et al. Viscoelastic properties of differenti- ating cells evolve to meet tissue-specific functions Dynamics of Tissues and Multicellular Systems. 14 Dec 2012, Leipzig, Germany. 2012
  • Ekpenyong, AE,Whyte, GB, Chilvers, ER, Guck, JR, et al. Fate- and function-dependent evolution of cellular mechanical properties during myeloid haematopoiesis. 4th International Congress on Stem Cells and Tissue Formation. 20 July 2012, Dresden, Germany. 2012