Health and Biological Systems

Photonics and nanoelectronics, together with quantitative modeling and analysis, naturally apply to the interfacing with biological systems, as investigative tools, or as sensors of electric or chemical activity.

Materials and Devices

In the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department, Elsa Reichmanis‘ lab investigates the chemistry and properties of polymeric and nanostructured materials for advanced optoelectronics via the design and development of organic or organic/hybrid semiconductors systems for flexible and stretchable electronics (such as transistors), and the control of polymer/hybrid semiconductor organization at the molecular through meso-scales.

In Electrical and Computer Engineering and Bioengineering, Prof. Yevgeny Bardichevsky’s Neural Engineering Lab uses large area multiple-electrodode arrays and microfluidics for high throughput drug screening and development, brain slice cultures, and polymer microfluidic devices to study how axons sprout and neural circuits develop.

Fundamental Investigations of Biological Processes

Over in the Physics Department, Prof. Aurelia Honerkamp-Smith’s group uses confocal and fluorescence microscopy, together with microfluidics, to study neurons and the physical chemistry of lipid membranes, Prof. Ou-Yang’s lab uses optical tweezing and “optical bottles” to study biological systems, colloids, and the statistical physics of macromolecule diffusion, and the theoretical research group of Prof. Vavylonis works in cellular biophysics to develop a new understanding of the intricacies with which a cell can organize its contents or change its shape by complex self-assembly and self-disassembly of the internal structures that build its skeleton.