Long term mission
Grand challenges facing human societies in the 21st century mostly emerge on the interface between engineering and biological systems; for instance, the challenges in energy, environment, water, food, medicine, security, and joy of living — the list goes on. Greatest engineering achievements in the 20th century were made largely based on hard and passive materials with metals, ceramics, glass, concretes and silicon as typical examples. On the other hand, life and biology are mostly based on soft and active materials such as DNA, RNA, proteins, cells, tissues, organs and human body. Conquering the grand challenges in the 21st century requires new materials that can provide unprecedented properties and extraordinary functions, capable of seamlessly interfacing engineering and biological systems. In view of the grant challenges and great opportunities, we set the long-term research mission of Soft Active Materials Laboratory to be:
- to understand the fundamental mechanics and physics of materials and phenomena emerging on the interface between engineering and biological systems;
- to design new materials and structures capable of extraordinary applications on the interface between engineering and biological systems.
The interdisciplinary nature of our research mission motivates us to adopt two reciprocal research approaches:
- to integrate experimental, theoretical and computational tools developed in engineering system to explore novel biological-related materials and phenomena;
- to seek inspirations from biological system to design new materials and structures for transformative engineering applications.
Current Research Goal
At current stage, we are focusing on soft materials emerging on the interfaces of engineering and biological systems. The current research goal of Soft Active Materials Laboratory is:
- to understand and design soft materials with unprecedented properties
- to explore extraordinary functions of new soft materials in various technologies
In order to achieve this goal, we are advancing fundamental knowledge on interfaces between multiple disciplines including:
- solid mechanics
- soft materials
- bio-inspired design