Penn Engineers’ Liquid Assembly Line Makes Drug Microparticles a Thousand Times Faster Than Ever Before

Pharmaceuticals owe their effects mostly to their chemical composition, but the packaging of these drugs into specific physical formulations also need to be done to exact specifications. For example, many drugs are encapsulated in solid microparticles, the size and shape of which determine the timing of the drug’s release and its delivery to specific parts […]

Calculus III for Cells

Last year, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania revealed surprising insights into how cells respond to surface curvature. Specifically, they investigated how cells respond to cylindrical surfaces, which are common in biology. They found that cells change the static configurations of their shapes and internal structures. Now, the researchers, led by Kathleen Stebe and recent […]

Penn Researchers Show that Cells’ Perception of Stiffness is a Matter of Time

The relative stiffness of a cell’s environment is known to have a large effect on that cell’s behavior, including how well the cell can stick or move. Now, a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers demonstrates the role timing plays in how cells perceive this stiffness.

Penn Engineers’ Gold Nanorods Key to Measuring Materials’ Squishiness at the Nanoscale

Rheology is the science of studying how soft materials and complex fluids deform and flow under stress. These materials are everywhere in biology, and since their relative stiffness or squishiness is relevant to diseases, such as cancer, there is a need to accurately measure just how squishy they are. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s […]

Penn Engineers Test Drug Transfer Using Placenta-on-a-Chip

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science have demonstrated the feasibility of their “organ-on-a-chip” platform in studying how drugs are transported across the human placental barrier.

Penn Engineering Research Gives Optical Switches the ‘Contrast’ of Electronic Transistors

Current computer systems represent bits of information — the 1’s and 0’s of binary code — with electricity. Circuit elements, such as transistors, operate on these electric signals, producing outputs that are dependent on their inputs. As fast and powerful as computers have become, Ritesh Agarwal, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the University of […]

New Network Model of the Musculoskeletal System Can Predict Compensatory Injuries

Network science examines how the actions of a system’s individual parts affect the behavior of the system as a whole. Some commonly studied networks include computer chip components and social media users, but University of Pennsylvania engineers are now applying network science to a much older system: the human body.

Adding a Twist Makes 3D-Printed Structures Tougher

Some mantis shrimp kill their prey with a hammer-like appendage called a dactyl club. Despite being an organism only a few inches long and weighing about as much as a deck of playing cards, the shrimp can throw shell-shattering punches at more than 50 miles per hour. If human engineers were to design a hammer […]

Penn Engineers: Bone Marrow Transplant Stem Cells Can ‘Swim’ Upstream

When a cancer patient receives a bone marrow transplant, time is of the essence. Healthy stem cells, which can restart the production of blood cells and immune system components after a patient’s own are compromised, need to make their way from the circulatory system into the bones as quickly as possible. To do that, they […]

Penn Researchers Establish Universal Signature Fundamental to How Glassy Materials Fail

Dropping a smartphone on its glass screen, which is made of atoms jammed together with no discernible order, could result in it shattering. Unlike metals and other crystalline materials, glass and many other disordered solids cannot be deformed significantly before failing and, because of their lack of crystalline order, it is difficult to predict which […]

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