Labs + Facilities

Biophysical Engineering and Nanopolymers Lab (D. Discher)

The Biophysical Engineering and Nanopolymers Lab is a diverse group of scientists and engineers with interests spanning molecular and cell biophysics and polymer engineering. Among their studies are controlling stem cell differentiation with materials, shrinking tumors with drug-loaded polymersomes and worm micelles, developing new polymers for both purposes, and single molecules studies of protein folding.

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Carpick Research Group (R. Carpick)

What is friction? How does it originate? How is it dependent on the structural, chemical, mechanical, vibrational, and electronic properties of materials? This group is trying to answer these questions by studying nanotribology: the fundamental science of contact, friction, adhesion, lubrication, and wear at the atomic / molecular / nanometer scale.

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Kod*lab (D. Koditschek)

The Kod*lab is interested in the application of dynamical systems theory to the invention and construction of intelligent machines and systems, with a particular focus on biologically-inspired robotics. Many of its members have worked in robotics with emphasis on dynamical dexterity and the management of kinetic energy in designing machines capable of performing useful work on their bodies and environments. Others have worked on more abstract problems of control and coordination with the object of developing new methods of design and analysis toward the construction of such machines.

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ModLab (M. Yim)

A modular robot is a versatile system consisting of many simple modules that can change their configuration to suit a given task. These systems are inherently robust due to their redundancy, adaptability, and ability to self-repair. While originally focused on continuing research in the field of modular robotics, recent work in the lab has expanded to include micro/nano air vehicles and tunable stiffness for legged robot locomotion.

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Micro and Nanofluidics Lab (H. Bau)

The Micro and Nanofluidics Lab works to develop the science and technological base needed for the effective use of micro and nano-fluidic systems.  To this end, the lab studies complex flow phenomena involving single phase and particle-laden (i.e., beads, cells, and macromolecules) flows driven by pressure, electric, and magnetic fields, and by surface tension. In addition, the lab works to develop microfluidic components and systems.

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Nanoscale Engineering Laboratory (J. Lukes)

Nanotubes, nanowires, quantum dots, thin solid films and other nanostructures transport heat much differently than structures with macroscopic characteristic dimensions. As a result, interest in assembling these nanostructures to build new composite ‘metamaterials’ with extreme thermal conductivities has increased dramatically in recent years in application areas ranging from electronics thermal management to thermoelectric alternative energy generation.

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Penn Complex Fluids Laboratory (P. Arratia)

The Penn Complex Fluids Laboratory explores the fields of Transport Phenomena and Soft-Condensed Matter, particularly fluid mechanics, microfluidics, and complex fluids. Complex fluids are a broad class of materials that are usually homogeneous at the macroscopic scale and disordered at the microscopic scale, but possess structure at an intermediate scale (e.g., colloids, blood, and polymers).

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Penn Haptics Group (K. Kuchenbecker)

Haptics is the science of understanding and improving human interaction with the physical world through the sense of touch. Haptic interfaces are computer-controlled electro-mechanical systems that enable a user to feel and manipulate a real, remote, or virtual environment. Haptic interfaces for real interactions can be configured to steady the hand of an eye surgeon during delicate interventions or guide the hand of an individual assembling tiny mechanical components.

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Sinno Research Group (T. Sinno)

The Sinno Research Group is broadly interested in the theoretical and computational study of nano and microstructural evolution, and particularly nucleation and growth, in condensed materials systems. Solid-state materials of current interest are crystalline semiconductors such as silicon and its alloys (silicon-germanium and silicon-carbide), although aggregation phenomena in other material systems (e.g. metals, complex fluids) also are within the scope of the program.

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Sung Robotics Group (C. Sung)

Our group is interested in advancing the state of the art in computational methods for rapid robot design and deployment. By combining methods in computational geometry with practical engineering design, we develop theory and systems for making robot design and fabrication intuitive and accessible to the non-engineer. We are particularly interested in leveraging geometric modeling to design and optimize soft and semi-rigid robots with increased reliability and robustness.

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