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Program Highlights for year 2014

Engineering Cellular Response Using Nanopatterned Bulk Metallic Glass (BMG)

Biomaterials implanted in the body evoke a “Foreign body response” which results in encapsulation of the material in a collagen-rich protein capsule. Fibroblast cells, which produce collagen, mediate this process that leads to biomaterial rejection / device failure in vivo. Surface nanotopography of BMGs can be used to engineer fibroblast-material interactions.

Sensor Skin - A platform for highly stretchable, biocompatible, transparent sensors

In work reported in Science (August 20, 2013) a Harvard MRSEC team led by Suo and Whitesides developed a transparent “ionic skin,” a sensor skin using ionic conductors. It senses signals with high stability and wide dynamic

Electrically collapsible hydrogels with enhanced mechanical toughness

A Harvard MRSEC team led by Clarke, Mooney, Parker, Suo, and Vlassak has developed new hydrogels

Magnetic Domain Structure of Cobalt Nanospirals

Nanoscale three-dimensional (3D) structures are building blocks for the fabrication of miniature switching devices and can be used as functional units in nanorobotics. The functionality of the 3D

Simulations of Active Nematics

Simulations of a model for microtubule(MT)-based active nematics capture experimentally observed defect dynamics. The image on the right shows three sequential images from experimental system in which +½ and -½ defects are created through a bending stability and subsequently separate.

Defect Dynamics in 2D Active Nematic Liquid Crystals

While conventional materials are assembled from inanimate building blocks, we are exploring the behavior of soft materials in which the constituent components consume energy and spontaneously coordinate their microscopic behavior and form novel materials such as active gels, crawling emulsion droplets, and living liquid crystals.

Graphene Electronic Superhighways

Electrons in epitaxial graphene nanoribbons travel unimpeded at high speed for large distances, so that they are ideally suited for graphene electronics.

Chiral magnetism at oxide interfaces

LaAlO3 and SrTiO3 are two well known non‐magnetic insulators, but when LaAlO3 is deposited on SrTiO3 to form a clean LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interface, the interface becomes an ultra‐thin sheet of conductor. Even more surprisingly, the interface exhibits unusual magnetic properties, but the origin of the observed interfacial magnetism is under debate.