Margaret Frey


Margaret Frey

Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies
137 Human Ecology Building (HEB)
Phone: (607) 255-1937 Fax: (607)255-1093
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

Positions Held: 
Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University (August 2009- August 2013)
Associate Professor, Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University (July 2008 – present).
Lois and Mel Tukman Assistant Professor of Human Ecology, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University (July 2005 – July 2008)
Assistant Professor, Department of Textiles and Apparel, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University (July 2002-present).
Manager of Material Development, Champlain Cable Corporation, (January 1998 – April 2002).
Materials Specialist, Johnson Filaments, (June 1995 – December 1997).
Technical Specialist, Helene Curtis Industries, (August 1988-August 1990).
Staff Scientist, TRI Princeton, (July 1987-August 1988).

Teaching and Advising Statement:

Courses Taught:

FSAD 1350/1360: Fibers, Fabrics and Finishes + Lab

FSAD 2370: Structural Fabric Design

FSAD 6660: Fiber Formation Theory and Practice

FSAD 2370: This course was completely revised to a 'flipped classroom' active learning model.  Students meet in HEB 113 lab space to write specifications for fabric samples starting from the simplest woven structures.  All work is conducted in teams and methods for determining fabric parameters build from simple measurements/visual assessment to calculating parameters from material properties.  We also used the new Dobby Loom and Kaledo softwear in the HEB T14 CAD lab to take the fabric structure process through the entire sequence from design to weaving.  The content delivery portion of the class was provided via an e-text book with online reading comprehension tests.  I completed the project for the Certificate of Teaching Excellence based on this course.

Based on student feedback (course evaluations) several tweaks have been made to this course for Spring 2013 including introductory presentations for each specification project and reporting via individual worksheets instead of group reports.  Class participation will be measured by attendance and instructor feedback to make this easier for students to understand.

FSAD 6660: In 2014, we will be able to conduct experiments on the FSAD bi-component fiber extruder.  Past students of the course will be invited to join this experiment.

FSAD 1350:This course used many examples from current apparel advertisements and product descriptions to highlight the functions of fibers, fabrics and finishes.  10% of the grade was determined by 'participation'.  Participation was measured by attendance in class or at relevant seminars on campus.  Almost all students had perfect (or better) attendance.

Current Professional Activities:
  • American Chemical Society - Division of Cellulose and Renewable Materials: Councilor, Treasurer, Member-at-Large and Symposium Chair,
  • Fiber Society: Symposium Chair
  • Society of Women Engineers: Participated in Cornell STEM recruiting

Current Research Activities:

Interfacing fiber science and nanotechnology with strong collaboration with researchers in both related and dissimilar fields. Combining the tools and capabilities of fiber science with expertise in fields including nuclear science environmental engineering, materials science, chemical and biomolecular engineering and biomedical engineering has resulted in synergistic leaps in materials research that would not be possible without close collaboration between experts in diverse fields. Expertise includes formation of fibers with radiation sensing, pH sensing, chemically reactive, conductive or +/- charged capabilities and piezoelectric power generation. Functional nanofibers are incorporated into nano-fiber fabrics, conventional fabrics, lateral flow assay devices, microfluidic devices and radiation sensor systems in specific patterns to create fiber-based devices.

The second research theme, interfacing fiber science and nanotechnology, has resulted in particularly fruitful collaborations. Properties of fiber-based materials include:
• high specific surface area
• incorporation of multiple dissimilar materials in a single fabric or device 
• strength and flexibility
• high porosity with adjustable pores size
• functional fibers including chemically reactive sights, conductivity, positively or negatively charged surfaces, nanoparticles and phase changing properties

These properties can combine with some of the unique physics and high reactivity that have been discovered at the nano-scale to create useful and functional materials. Several variations on this theme have created an ever-expanding circle of projects.
Several new research goals have developed over the past year along the theme of creating functional nano-fibers and nanofiber fabrics for specific end uses.  Specific targets include controlling phase separation during fiber formation in electrically charged jets to 'self-assemble' co-axial fibers with different phases at the core and shell.  Examples include hydrophobic core with hydrophilic shell, liquid crystal core with polymer shell.  Additionally, research continues and spinning capabilities have been upgraded to allow formation of fibers with pH sensing, chemically reactive, conductive or +/- charged capabilities and piezoelectric power generation.  Functional nanofibers are incorporated into nano-fiber fabrics, conventional fabrics, or microfluidic devices in specific patterns to create fiber-based devices.

Collaboration with other departments across campus including Materials Science and Engineering, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Entomology, Horticulture, Cornell Center for Materials Research, and the Nanobiotechnology Center continue.  Collaborations have also been initiated with the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University.  A new industrial collaboration with Monsanto was developed.



Cornell University Chemical Engineering B.S. 1985
Cornell University Fiber Science M.S. 1989
North Carolina State University Fiber and Polymer Science Ph.D.1995

Courses Taught:
  • FSAD 1350 - Fabrics, Fibers and Finishes
  • FSAD 1360 - Fiber Laboratory
  • FSAD 2370 - Structural Fabric Design
  • FSAD 6660 - Fiber Formation Theory and Practice
  • IGERT Module:  Sustainable Industry Practices
  • IGERT Module:  Nanomaterials for Biosensors

Related Websites:

Research Group Website:

Administrative Responsibilities:

Graduate School General Committee Member

Faculty Fellow: Balch Residence Hall

Faculty Fellow: Cornell Institute for Fashion and Fiber Innovation

Faculty Fellow: Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member for the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science (TECS) at NC State University

Selected Publications:


Xiang, C., Frey, M.W. ‘Hydrolytic Degradation of Nanocomposite Fibers Electrospun

from Poly(Lactic Acid)/Cellulose Nanocrystals’ in Cellulose Based Composites: New Green Nanomaterials, Hinestroza, J. and Netravali, A. eds. 2014

Xiang, C., Frey, M.W., Increasing Mechanical Properties of Electrospun Nylon-6 Non-woven Fabrics, Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, submitted.

Xiao, M., Frey, M.W., Cellulose dissolution in non-derivatizing

solvent systems—a review, Polymer Reviews, submitted.

Reinholt, S. J., Sonnenfeldt, A., Naik, A., Frey, M. W., Baeumner, A. J., Developing new materials for paper-based diagnostics using electrospun nanofibers, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

Pehlivaner Kara, M.O.; Frey, M.W., The effects of solvents on the morphology and conductivity of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) nanofibers, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, in-press.

Cho, D.; Naydich, A.; Frey, M.W.; Joo, Y.L., Further improvement of air filtration efficiency of cellulose filters coated with nanofibers via inclusion of electrostatically active nanoparticles, Polymer, 2013 54:2364-2372.

Xiang, C., et al., Controlled release of nonionic compounds from poly(lactic acid)/cellulose nanocrystal nanocomposite fibers. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2013: 127.(1) p. 79-86.

Schrote, K. and M.W. Frey, Effect of irradiation on poly (3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene): poly (styrenesulfonate) nanofiber conductivity. Polymer, 2013. 54: 737-742.

Cho, Y.; Cho, D.; Park, J. H.; Frey, M.; Ober, C.; Joo, Y., Preparation and Characterization of Amphiphilic Triblock Terpolymer-Based Nanofibers as Antifouling Biomaterials, Biomacromolecules, 2012, 13(5): p. 1606-1614.

Matlock-Colangelo, L.; Cho, D.; Pitner, C. L.; Frey, M. W.; Baeumner, A. J., Functionalized electrospun nanofibers as bioseparators in microfluidic systems. Lab on a Chip 2012, 12(9): p. 1696-1701.

Cho, D.; Lee, S.; Frey, M. W., Characterizing zeta potential of functional nanofibers in a microfluidic device. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2012, 372 (1), 252-260.

Cho, D., N. Hoepker, and M.W. Frey, Fabrication and characterization of conducting polyvinyl alcohol nanofibers. Materials Letters, 2012. 68(0): p. 293-295.

Cho, D. W.; Matlock-Colangelo, L.; Xiang, C. H.; Asiello, P. J.; Baeumner, A. J.; Frey, M. W., Electrospun nanofibers for microfluidic analytical systems. Polymer 2011, 52(15): p. 3413-3421.

Cho, D.; Bae, W. J.; Joo, Y. L.; Ober, C. K.; Frey, M. W., Properties of PVA/HfO(2) Hybrid Electrospun Fibers and Calcined Inorganic HfO(2) Fibers. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2011, 115 (13), 5535-5544

Buyuktanir, E.A., J.L. West, and M.W. Frey, Optically responsive liquid crystal microfibers for display and nondisplay applications. Proc. SPIE, 2011. 7955: p. 79550P.

Reiffel, A., et al., Creating Surgically Relevant de novo Tissue Engineered Constructs Using Biocompatible Biodegradable Polymers. Journal of Surgical Research, 2011. 165(2): p. 208.

Rebovich, M.E., D. Vynias, and M.W. Frey, Formation and functions of high-surface-area fabrics. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 2010. 3(3): p. 129 - 134.

Li, L.L. and M. Frey, Preparation and characterization of cellulose nitrate-acetate mixed ester fibers. Polymer, 2010. 51(16): p. 3774-3783.

Li, L., M.W. Frey, and K.J. Browning, Biodegradability Study on Cotton and Polyester Fabrics. Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, 2010. 5(4): p. 42-53.

Buyuktanir, E.A., M.W. Frey, and J.L. West, Self-assembled, optically responsive nematic liquid crystal/polymer core-shell fibers: Formation and characterization. Polymer, 2010. 51(21): p. 4823-4830.

Sohn, A.M., et al., Endothelialization of Sacrificial Polymer-Derived Vascular Channels: Advancement towards the Creation of Surgically Relevant Tissue Replacements. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2010. 126: p. 58.

Xiao, M. and M.W. Frey, Study of cellulose/ethylene diamine/salt systems. Cellulose, 2009. 16(3): p. 381-391.

Xiang, C.H., Y.L. Joo, and M.W. Frey, Nanocomposite Fibers Electrospun from Poly(lactic acid)/Cellulose Nanocrystals. Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, 2009. 3(2): p. 147-155.

Xiao, M. and M.W. Frey, Rheological Studies of the Interactions in Cellulose/Ethylene Diamine/Salt Systems. Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics, 2008. 46(21): p. 2326-2334.

Frey, M.W., Electrospinning cellulose and cellulose derivatives. Polymer Reviews, 2008. 48(2): p. 378-391.

Xiao, M. and M.W. Frey, The role of salt on cellulose dissolution in ethylene diamine/salt solvent systems. Cellulose, 2007. 14(3): p. 225-234.

Xiang, C.H., et al., Selective chemical absorbance in electrosupun nonwovens. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2007. 106(4): p. 2363-2370.

Li, D., et al., Availability of biotin incorporated in electrospun PLA fibers for streptavidin binding. Polymer, 2007. 48(21): p. 6340-6347.

Frey, M.W. and L. Li, Electrospinning and Porosity Measurements of Nylon-6/Poly(ethylene oxide) Blended Nonwovens. Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, 2007. 2(1): p. 31-37.

Frey, M.W., et al., Incorporation of biotin into PLA nanofibers via suspension and dissolution in the electrospinning dope. Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, 2007. 1(2): p. 220-228.

Li, L., M.W. Frey, and T.B. Green, Modification of air filter media with nylon-6 nanofibers. Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, 2006. 1(1): p. 1-22.

Li, L., et al., Formation and properties of nylon-6 and nylon-6/montmorillonite composite nanofibers. Polymer, 2006. 47(17): p. 6208-6217.

Li, D.P., M.W. Frey, and Y.L. Joo, Characterization of nanofibrous membranes with capillary flow porometry. Journal of Membrane Science, 2006. 286(1-2): p. 104-114.

Li, D.P., M.W. Frey, and A.J. Baeumner, Electrospun polylactic acid nanofiber membranes as substrates for biosensor assemblies. Journal of Membrane Science, 2006. 279(1-2): p. 354-363.

Kim, C.W., et al., Preparation of submicron-scale, electrospun cellulose fibers via direct dissolution. Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics, 2005. 43(13): p. 1673-1683.

Frey, M.W., H. Chan, and K. Carranco, Rheology of cellulose/KSCN/ethylenediamine solutions and coagulation into filaments and films. Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics, 2005. 43(15): p. 2013-2022.

Frey, M.W. and M.H. Theil, Calculated phase diagrams for cellulose/ammonia/ammonium thiocyanate solutions in comparison to experimental results. Cellulose, 2004. 11(1): p. 53-63.

Cuculo J. A.,  N. Aminuddin and M.W. Frey “Solvent Spun Cellulose Fibers”, J. A in Structure Formation in Polymeric Fibers, 296-328, D.R. Salem Ed., Hanser Publishers: Munich (2000).

Frey, M.W., J.A. Cuculo, and R.J. Spontak, Morphological characteristics of the lyotropic and gel phases in the cellulose/NH3/NH4SCN system. Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics, 1996. 34(12): p. 2049-2058.

Frey, M.W., J.A. Cuculo, and S.A. Khan, Rheology and gelation of cellulose/ammonia/ammonium thiocyanate solutions. Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics, 1996. 34(14): p. 2375-2381.

Frey, M.W., et al., A Review of Lattice Theory for Lyotropic Liquid-Crystalline Polymers, Spinodal Decomposition, and Gel Formation. Journal of Macromolecular Science-Reviews in Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 1995. C35(2): p. 287-325.


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Director of Graduate Studies

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.