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

2019 DBG Retreat January 17th, 2019

The Disease Biophysics Group just returned from its annual retreat! For two days, DBGers presented research updates to the group and our visiting collaborators.

2018 HIRN Meeting at Harvard January 12th, 2019

In December 2018 we hosted the Human Islet Research Network’s (HIRN) NIH investigator meeting. Professor Parker treated the visitors to BBQ brisket and chicken as they discussed the state of the field and toured through DBG labs for numerous demonstrations.


2018 DBG Family Day November 30th, 2018

Left our microscopes at the lab and did Play-Doh science at the Miller Alehouse in Watertown. Critics were small, but fair. Dr. Huibin Chang impresses judges during Play-Doh model competition with an outstanding score of 73.5 out of 20!

Our thanks to our lab members and their families, whose hard work and support makes everything possible.



Welcome, Dr. Suji Choi and Dr. Sarah Motta! October 5th, 2018

The DBG would like to extend a warm welcome to our new postdoctoral fellows, Suji Choi and Sarah Motta. Suji joins us from Seoul National University, where she completed her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering in Prof. Dae-hyeong Kim’s Flextronics group. Sarah recently completed her Ph.D. at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Zurich in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. We are excited for both of them to join us!

Welcome, Huibin! September 5th, 2018

The DBG welcomes Post-Doctoral Fellow Huibin Chang, who joined the group September 1. Huibin joins us from Georgia Tech, where he recently completed his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering. Welcome, Huibin!