SMART - Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology

Biosystems and Micromechanics

BioSystems and Micromechanics (BioSyM) Inter-Disciplinary Research Group

Krystyn J. Van Vliet

Paul M. Cook Career Development Associate Professor, MIT
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Department of Biological Engineering


  • 2010-present: Paul M. Cook Career Development Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, Departments of Materials Science & Engineering and Biological Engineering, MIT
  • 2009-2010: Thomas Lord Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, M.I.T.
  • 2005-2009: Thomas Lord Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
  • 2007-present: Joint Appointment, Department of Biological Engineering, MIT
  • 2004-2005: Assistant Professor, Dept of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE), MIT
  • 2004-present: Faculty Director, DMSE Nanomechanical Technology Laboratory, MIT
  • 2003-2004: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Vascular Biology Program, The Children’s Hospital Boston


  • 2010: Paul M. Cook Associate Professorship
  • 2009: MIT Edgerton Faculty Award (Institute-wide untenured faculty research award)
  • 2009: MIT School of Engineering Junior Bose Teaching Award
  • 2009: MIT Department of Materials Science & Engineering J. Sloan Teaching Award
  • 2009: Human Frontiers Science Program Award
  • 2008: NSF Kavli Fellow; DuPont Young Investigator Award
  • 2007: Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE, US AFOSR)
  • 2007: National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • 2006: Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award
  • 2006: 3M Innovation Award
  • 2002: IBM Research Fellow, AAAS Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
  • 2002: Materials Research Society Graduate Gold Medal
  • 2001: Bodycote 1st place graduate paper award (with A. Gouldstone; advised by S. Suresh)
  • 1998: National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

Selected peer-reviewed publications

  • Zeiger, A.S., Loe, F.C., Li, R., Raghunath, M., Van Vliet, K.J., “Macromolecular crowding directs extracellular matrix organization and mesenchymal stem cell behavior,”PLoS ONE, 2012 (in press).
  • Lee, W.C., Bhagat, A.A., Huang, S., Van Vliet, K.J., Han, J., and Lim, C.T. “High-throughput cell cycle synchronization using inertial forces in spiral microchannels,” Lab Chip 11 1359, (2011).
  • Kalcioglu, Z.I., Strawhecker, K., Shazly, T., VanLandingham, M., Edelman, E.R., Smith, J.F., and Van Vliet, K.J. "Dynamic impact indentation of hydrated biological tissues and tissue surrogate gels," Philosophical Magazine A, 2011 (online and in press; DOI: 10.1080/14786435.2010.512574).
  • Paradise, R.K., Lauffenburger, D.A., and Van Vliet, K.J., “Acidic extracellular pH promotes activation of integrin avb3″, PLoS ONE 6 e15746, (2011). 
  • Maloney, J.M., Nikova, D., Lautenschlager, F., Clarke, E., Langer, R.L., Guck, J., and Van Vliet, K.J. “Mesenchymal Stem Cell Mechanics from the Attached to the Suspended State,” Biophysical Journal 99 2479-2487 (2010).
  • Krishnan, R., Walton, E.B., and Van Vliet, K.J., “Characterizing rare-event property distributions via replicate molecular dynamics simulations of proteins,” Journal of Molecular Modeling. 15 1383-1389, 2009.
  • Walton EB, Lee S, Van Vliet KJ. Extending Bell’s model: how force transducer stiffness alters measured unbinding forces and kinetics of molecular complexes. Biophys J. 94 2621-2630, 2008.
  • Lee S, Mandic J, Van Vliet KJ. Chemomechanical mapping of ligand-receptor binding kinetics on cell surfaces. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 2007; 104: 9609-9614.
  • Walton EB and Van Vliet KJ. Equilibration of experimentally determined protein structures for molecular dynamics simulation. Phys Rev E. 2006; 74: 061901.
  • Thompson MT, Berg MC, Lichter J, Tobias IS, Rubner MF and Van Vliet KJ. Biochemical functionalization of polyelectrolyte multilayers can alter mechanical compliance. Biomacromolecules. 2006; 76: 1990-1995.
  • Thompson MT, Berg MC, Tobias IS, Rubner MF and Van Vliet KJ. Tuning compliance of polyelectrolyte multilayers to modulate cell adhesion. Biomaterials. 2005; 26: 6836-6845.

Current research support

  • US AFOSR PECASE (PI) Chemomechanics of reactive polymer nanocomposites (2007 – 2012)