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

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.

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

mame201600365_Cover Art Submission

Congratulations to Ian Perkins & Alex Cho! January 5th, 2017

The DBG would like to congratulate Ian Perkins and Alex Cho who both graduated from Northeastern University in December. Ian received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Alex his B.S. in Biology. We would like to thank you both for your significant contributions to the DBG over the past several years, and we are grateful that you are both continuing with us in the lab this semester!

Congratulations Dr. Capulli! December 15th, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Capulli who successfully defended his dissertation in December, and will continue in the DBG as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Congratulations Dr. Nesmith! December 15th, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Peyton Nesmith who successfully defended his dissertation last month.  We wish him the best of luck as he returns to the University of Alabama to complete his M.D.

Congratulations to Parker Lab Post-doc Johan Lind, Ph.D., on the publication of his Heart-on-a-Chip paper in Nature Materials on October 24! October 25th, 2016