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MEAM Seminar: “Active Materials and Devices for Biomedical Applications”

March 7 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

In this talk, I will discuss our recent work in materials fabrication, manipulation, assembly, and manufacturing tailored towards biomedical and environmental applications. The focus is on active materials and devices enabled by materials control across a wide range of length scales. At the nanoscale, I will discuss 3D electrokinetic tweezers, an ultra-precision tool developed in my lab, which can be used to manipulate nanowires in room-temperature aqueous solutions. With this technique, designed nanostructures are maneuvered as untethered robotic tools for probing single biological cells; the precision reaches 20 nm in position and 0.5° in orientation in water solution with a standard microscope. At a slightly larger, chip-scale, I will describe a recent innovation that permits the light-controlled patterning of soft actuators made of microbubbles, which assemble large arrays of nanoparticles in parallel. The co-assembly of nanosensor-cell hybrids can be further achieved that detect metabolites of bacterial cells. Finally, I will present a rational scheme for developing large-scale, hierarchically porous superstructures for applications in monitoring human health and public-health relevant water treatment.

Donglei Emma Fan

Professor and Robert & Jane Mitchell Endowed Faculty Fellow, Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Donglei Emma Fan is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering Program and the Texas Materials Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. She holds the Robert & Jane Mitchell Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Engineering at UT-Austin since 2017 and received two awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NSF Mid-Career Advancement Award (2022) and the NSF CAREER Award (2012). Dr. Fan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2021), an invited Official Nominator of the Japan Prize (2017), and elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), to be inducted in March 2024. Dr. Fan also is the 2022 Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering Ilene Busch-Vishniac Lecturer; the lectureship “features outstanding women in engineering and highlights the intellectual contributions of the lecturers while serving to inspire young women to pursue degrees and careers in engineering”.  She is an inventor of nine granted patents and a few pending patents. Two patents have been licensed to companies.


March 7
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
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Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
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Room 337, Towne Building
220 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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