The insights from our work are then used to design the microstructure of soft materials with enhanced properties.
Broadly, our research is divided into three main topics:
- Polymer networks and gels – Polymers and gels are materials that comprise chains which are made of many repeating molecular units. Our group aims to better understand the relations between the micro-structure and the macroscopic response of polymers and gels. Our findings are used to design polymeric materials with programmable properties.
- Mechanics of biological materials – Our group aims to better understand the response of biological materials to mechanical, chemical, biological, and environmental stimuli. We derive models for the vitreous body in the eye, resilin (which is a protein network found in insects), spider silk, and muscle cells.
- Composite structures and actuators – Our group investigates the response of composite structures that are made of more than one material.