Materials by Design

Healing Wonders of Hydrogel

A simple substance comprised of a water-based, three-dimensional network of polymers shows amazing promise for treatment of third-degree burns.

This effort is directed at the creation of smart and multi-functional materials using a combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches. It promises the creation of new materials by precisely controlling the constituent building blocks and their interactions. Specific lines of research focus on understanding strategies to direct self-assembling processes and to create complex, reconfigurable, and adaptive materials that display elementary features of living systems. David Gracias’ laboratory focuses on developing self-folding and self-assembling materials using a combination of top-down and bottom-up technologies. Joelle Frechette’s laboratory designs surface structures and polymer films to optimize their performance as adhesives that operate under harsh conditions and in wet environments. Jeffrey Gray is using molecular structure computations to design peptides to precisely guide biomineral phase and morphology. Rebecca Schulman’s work is directed at self-assembling environmentally adaptive DNA nanostructures for molecular electronics and biomaterial assembly. Michael Bevan’s work on feedback-controlled colloidal assembly employs novel methods for measuring and modeling tunable colloidal interactions, dynamics, and microstructure to create materials and devices with exotic electromagnetic properties and non-trivial reconfiguration mechanisms. The research effort in Honggang Cui’s lab is devoted to the development of peptide-based supramolecular nanomedicine for drug delivery and tumor diagnosis, as well as the fabrication of enzyme specific and degradable supramolecular hydrogels that fully mimic tumor microenvironments. Sharon Gerecht develops hydrogels to study and control cellular behaviors in healthy and diseased environments.

Michael Bevan
Michael Bevan’s work on feedback controlled colloidal assembly uses novel methods for measuring and modeling tunable colloidal interactions, dynamics, and microstructure to create materials and devices with exotic electromagnetic properties and non-trivial reconfiguration mechanisms.
Honggang Cui

The research effort in Honggang Cui’s lab is devoted to the development of peptide-based supramolecular nanomaterials for drug delivery and tumor diagnosis, as well as the fabrication of enzyme specific and degradable hydrogels that fully mimic tumor microenvironments.

Joelle Frechette
Joelle Frechette is creating powerful approaches to control any micro- and nanoscale system by developing a better understanding of how we can manipulate interfacial properties, either externally via the use of a stimulus or internally via the design of surface structure.
Sharon Gerecht
Sharon Gerecht‘s laboratory develops hydrogel biomaterials that recapitulate various aspects in the blood vessel niche for the understanding of the signaling cascade during regeneration and differentiation.
David Gracias
David Gracias’ work on self-folding seeks to shape and morph new three-dimensional materials and devices using a combination of lithographic patterning and forces/interactions, such as capillarity and thin film stress.
Jeffrey J. Gray
Jeffrey Gray is using molecular structure computations to design peptides to precisely guide bio mineral phase and morphology.
Rebecca Schulman
Rebecca Schulman’s work is directed at self-assembling environmentally adaptive DNA nanostructures for molecular electronics and biomaterial assembly.
Stavroula Sofou’s lab uses combinations of intermolecular forces to design environmentally responsive, self-assembling bionanomaterials for the delivery of chemotherapeutics and radionuclides.
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