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
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What's New

DBG Lab is Operational! March 15th, 2021

After 17 years of outstanding science in Cambridge, the DBG has moved to the Engineering School’s new campus in Allston. As of March 2, the lab is fully operational and has resumed experiments. Thank you to all alumni and current personnel for constantly raising the bar. Stand by for the next chapter of DBG science!

Congratulations to Dr. Megan McCain! March 10th, 2021

Our congratulations go out to DBG alumna, Dr. Megan McCain, who has recently received tenure at University of Southern California!

Farewell to Dr. Suhwan Kim! January 13th, 2021

Congratulations to Dr. Suhwan Kim, who has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Dong-A University in Basun, South Korea! Dr. Kim was an integral part of our brain team for over a year as a postdoctoral fellow. We wish him the best on this next step in his career!

Inaugural Issue — Biophysics Reviews! January 4th, 2021

Dr. Kevin Kit Parker launched Biophysics Reviews, a new peer-reviewed journal for the biophysics research community on December 14. Produced by scientific publisher AIP Publishing, the aims to expand “on the tradition of excellence set by Applied Physics Reviews (APR) by publishing high impact, cutting edge research and reviews that are valuable for both emerging and experienced researchers”.

References:
1. KK Parker, L Longobardi, A Sulicz. “Welcome to Biophysics Reviews, a big tent for the biophysics community”. Biophysics Reviews. 14 Dec 2020; 1(1); 010401. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0036408.

A Belated Farewell and Congratulations to Dr. Ardoña! October 14th, 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Herdeline Ardoña, who has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the University of California Irvine Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She joined the Disease Biophysics Group as a postdoctoral fellow in 2017 and was an essential part of our research and mentoring team. Best of luck to you as you settle in and get your research group up and running!