Research

Please visit the above links to have a more detailed look at our research projects. Below is a list of Centers that we are leading or affiliated with.

NSF STC EBICS at MIT/GT/UIUC - Emergent Behavior of Integrated Cellular Systems

NSF IGERT at UIUC - Cellular and Molecular Mechanics and Bionanotechnology
(download brochure)

NIH Training Grant at UIUC - Midwestern Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center
(download brochure)

NSF CiiT (I/UCRC) at UIUC - Center for Innovative Instrumentation Technology

NSF NSEC at OSU - Center for Affordable Nanoengineering for Polymeric Micro and Nanodevices

 

Research:

3D Microfabrication of Biological Machines

Projection Micro Stereolithography


Key Research Aims and Goals

Engineering in vitro model systems that recreate the structure and function of native tissue requires the ability to pattern cells and cell signals at physiologically relevant length scales.

This motivates the development of a 3D printing apparatus capable of patterning celss at high resolution, on the order of single cells (1-50 micron).

Research Highlights and Results

We have developed a custom-built projection micro-stereolithography apparatus capable of viably patterning cells encapsulated in hydrogel polymers at resolution < 5 micron.

The ability of this apparatus to fabricate multi-material biological structures with complex 3D designs is being used to target application in tissue engineering of neo-vasculature.


Biological Machines


Key Research Aims and Goals

Using enabling technology of 3D, we can forward engineer multi-functional integrated cellular systems that harness the innate dynamic abilities of cells to self-organize, self-heal, and respond to complex environmental cues.

Research Highlights and Results

We have developed a skeletal muscle powered biological soft robotic devices or a bio-bot capable of controlled directional locomotion in response to external electrical signals.


Fig. A) Tissue Engineered skeletal muscle with aligned functional myotubes; B) Skeletal muscle coupled to 3D-printed hydrogel structure demonstrates net; C) Control of bio-bot speed and net displacement accomplished by varying the frequency of electrical stimulation [PNAS 2014]


Back to all research >>