Living Soft Robots

Overview

Light-guided Biohybrid Robotic Ray

Primary Investigator: Sung-Jin Park, Ph.D

The Disease Biophysics Group at Harvard, led by Kevin Kit Parker, created a tissue-engineered soft-robotic ray that swims using wave-like fin motions, and turns according to externally applied light cues.

Caltech and Harvard Synthetic Jelly Fish Explained

Primary Investigator: Janna Nawroth, Ph.D

Learning from the Jellyfish: Squishy pumps for biomedical and engineering applications
Most people know jellyfish as a painful nuisance, a beautiful aquarium exhibit or–less commonly–in the form of a marinated snack. Now a team of researchers at Caltech and Harvard University have taken yet another perspective on this simple invertebrate; for them, it constitutes nature’s prototype of a flexible, muscle-powered pump that could be used for medicalapplications and soft robotics. Graduate student Janna Nawroth worked with John Dabiri, professor of aeronautics and bioengineering at Caltech, and Kit Parker, Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at Harvard, to elucidate how the jellyfish body creates flows and eddies useful for pumping, propulsion, and feeding. In this video, the teamexplains how and why they developed a technology that turns silicone rubber and lab-grown muscle tissue into jellyfish-like fluid pumps and swimmers–advancing the design of muscular pumps for biomedical applications.

Muscular Thin Films: Biohybrid Materials For Soft Robotics

Primary Investigator:Adam Feinberg, Ph.D

Muscular thin films for building actuators and powering devices.

Supplemental video from:
Science. 2007;317:1366-1370
Grp_photo_Jan 2014_305W_230H

What's New

Welcome Dr. Cera and Dr. Lee! April 3rd, 2017

The DBG would like to extend a warm welcome to our new postdoctoral fellows, Luca Cera & Keel Yong Lee. Luca comes to us from Berlin, German, where he recently completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Christoph A. Schalley. Keel Yong recently completed his Ph.D. in Prof. Kwanwoo Shin’s lab at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. We are looking forward to expanding on our past collaborations with him.

Congratulations to Karaghen Hudson, Leila Deravi & Nina Sinatra on the cover of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering! March 27th, 2017

Parker Lab Artist Karaghen Hudson’s illustration accompanying Leila Deravi & Nina Sinatra’s paper “Design and Fabrication of Fibrous Nanomaterials Using Pull Spinning” was chosen for the March 2017 cover of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering.

 

 

Pull spinning is a new nanofiber manufacturing technique that uses a high-speed rotating bristle to draw anisotropic nanofibers from a polymer solution. The versatile structure and composition of scaffolds formed using pull spinning enables a wide range of applications, including muscle tissue engineering and textile design.

Congratulations to George Touloumes! March 21st, 2017

Congratulations to Parker Lab PhD student George Touloumes who has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Congratulations to Ben Pope! March 21st, 2017

Congratulations to Parker Lab Postdoc Ben Pope who was recently awarded a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellowship sponsored by the Good Ventures Foundation.

Congratulations Grant Gonzalez and Michael Rosnach on the cover of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering! January 23rd, 2017

Parker Lab Artist Michael Rosnach’s illustration accompanying PhD Student Grant Gonzalez’s paper “Production of synthetic, para-aramid and biopolymer nanofibers by immersion rotary jet-spinning” was chosen for the January 2017 cover of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering.

 

mame201600365_Cover Art Submission

 

“Utilizing a precipitant vortex, a novel nanofiber platform produces Kevlar, nylon, DNA, and alginate nanofibers for high-performance composites and tissue engineering applications.”