Research overview

In the Bio/Materials Tribology Laboratory, we make and study surfaces with the goals of directing their behavior. What that practically means is that we make hydrogels (like gelatin, or soft contact lenses), and use experiments to uncover where their surface friction originates. The trends we find and the material properties that are responsible can be used to design hydrogel surfaces with predictable slip properties. We also study latches found on insect exoskeletons, and how their friction allows them to both latch and release. Our newest project puts knowledge of surfaces and friction together with fracture of soft materials to understand the integrated force of needle insertions (collaboration with Hutchens group at UIUC). We hope that this work will enable new designs for materials and devices for biomedicine. Check out our research areas, and meet the current group members!

Research Areas

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