Soft Active Materials Laboratory

Design soft materials with unprecedented properties

PI: Prof. Xuanhe Zhao

 (CV; ISI; Google)

 

 


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Welcome to the Soft Active Materials Laboratory at Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT. Our long-term research mission is to understand the fundamental mechanics and physics of materials and phenomena emerging on the interface between engineering and biological systems and to design new materials and structures capable of extraordinary applications in diverse technologies. Our current research goal is to understand and design soft materials with unprecedented properties such as extremely tough and strong, ultrasensitive to stimuli, mutable and programmable, biocompatible and bioabsorbable; and to explore their extraordinary functions in technologies such as wearable and biointegrated electronics, drug delivery and tissue engineering, antifouling, energy harvesting and storage, soft robotics and machines, water treatment. In order to achieve this goal, we are advancing fundamental knowledge on interfaces between solid mechanics, soft materials, and bioinspired and genetic design. Our current research projects are centered on three bioinspired themes:

  • Artificial muscle (Electro-magneto-active polymers & Electro-magneto-mechanics, more)

  • Transformative skin (Functional surface instability and patterning & Thin film mechanics, more)

  • Tough cartilage (Biomaterials with extraordinary mechanical properties & Biomechanics, more)

 

Recent News and Opening

 

Recent Research Highlights (more)

 

 

Recent Papers (more)

 

 

Click title bar to sort papers by field.  Click paper title for PDF file.

ID

 

Title

 

Journal

 

Year

 

Theme

68. 

 

Cephalopod-inspired Design of Electro-mechano-chemically Responsive Elastomers for On-demand Fluorescent Patterning

  Nature Communications  

2014

 

Transformative skin; Artificial muscle

65.  

Design of Stiff, Tough and Stretchy Hydrogel Composites via Nanoscale Hybrid Crosslinking and Macroscale Fiber Reinforcement

 

Soft Matter

 

2014

 

Tough cartilage

63.   

Increasing the maximum achievable strain of a covalent polymer gel through the addition of mechanically invisible cross-links

 

Advanced Materials

 

2014

 

Tough cartilage

 

62. 

 

Harnessing Large Deformation and Instabilities of Soft Dielectrics: Theory, Experiment and Application (Review)

 

Applied Physics Review

 

2014

 

Artificial muscle;

Transformative skin

61. 

 

Soft Robotic Concepts in Catheter Design: an On-demand Fouling-release Urinary Catheter

 

Advanced Healthcare Materials

 

2014

 

Transformative skin

 

57.

 

Multi-scale Multi-mechanism Design of Tough Hydrogels: Building Dissipation into Stretchy Networks (Review)

 

Soft Matter

 

2014

 

Tough cartilage

56.

 

Harnessing Localized Ridges for High-Aspect-Ratio Hierarchical Patterns with Dynamic Tunability and Multifunctionality, Video 1

 

Advanced Materials

 

2014

 

Transformative skin

 

55.

 

Creasing-Wrinkling Transition in Elastomer Films under Electric Fields, Video 1

 

Physical Review E

 

2013

 

Artificial muscle;

Transformative skin

54.

 

Phase Diagrams of Instabilities in Compressed Film-Substrate Systems

 

Journal of Applied Mechanics

 

2013

 

Transformative skin

 

50.

 

Composite three-dimensional woven scaffolds with interpenetrating network hydrogels to create functional synthetic articular cartilage

 

Advanced Functional Materials

 

2013

 

Tough cartilage

 

49.

 

Reversible Sliding in Networks of Nanowires

 

Nanoletters

 

2013

 

Other

47.

 

Ultrasound-triggered disruption and self-healing of reversibly-crosslinked hydrogels for drug delivery and enhanced chemotherapy

  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  

2014

 

Artificial muscle

 

 

46.

 

Multifunctionality and Control of the Crumpling and Unfolding of Large-Area Graphene

 

Nature Materials

 

2013

 

Transformative skin;

Artificial muscle

45.

 

Bioinspired Surfaces with Dynamic Topography for Active Control of Biofouling

 

Advanced Materials

 

2013

 

Transformative skin;

Artificial muscle

 

42.

 

Highly stretchable and tough hydrogels, Video 1,  Video 2,  Video 3

 

Nature

 

2012

 

Tough cartilage

  

41.

 

Dynamic Electrostatic Lithography: Multiscale On-demand Patterning on Large-Area Curved Surfaces

 

Advanced Materials

 

2012

 

Transformative skin;

Artificial muscle

40.

 

Bursting Drops in Solid Dielectrics Caused by High Voltages, Video 1, Video 2, Video 3

 

Nature Communications

 

2012

 

Artificial muscle

39.

 

Localized Ridge Wrinkling of Stiff Films on Compliant Substrates

 

Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids

 

2012

 

Transformative skin

36.

 

A Theory for Large Deformation and Damage of Interpenetrating Polymer Networks

 

Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids

 

2012

 

Tough cartilage

 

34.

 

Creasing to Cratering instability in polymers under ultrahigh electric fields

 

Physical Review Letters

 

2011

 

Artificial muscle;

Transformative skin 

29.

 

Active Scaffolds for On-demand Drug and Cell Delivery, Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, Video 4

 

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

 

2011

 

Artificial muscle;

Toug cartilage

28.

 

Theory of dielectric elastomers capable of giant deformation of actuation

 

Physical Review Letters

 

2010

 

Artificial muscle

 

 

 

 

Recently Featured Member/Alumni (more)

 

Jianfeng Zang

Jianfeng began his new position as tenure-track professor at the Innovation Institute, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. JIanfeng also won the prestigious 1000-Young-Telant Program Award from Chinese government. Congratulations and all the best for the new start, Jianfeng!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Courses (more)

 

Recent Seminars (more)

 

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