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 […]

What Can Twitter Reveal About People With ADHD? Penn Researchers Provide Answers

What can Twitter reveal about people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD? Quite a bit about what life is like for someone with the condition, according to findings published by University of Pennsylvania researchers Sharath Chandra Guntuku and Lyle Ungar in the Journal of Attention Disorders. Twitter data might also provide clues to help facilitate more effective […]

Penn Researchers Working to Mimic Giant Clams to Enhance the Production of Biofuel

Alison Sweeney of the University of Pennsylvania has been studying giant clams since she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara. ​​​​​​​Sweeney, an assistant professor of physics in the Penn School of Arts and Sciences, and her collaborator Shu Yang, a professor of materials science and engineering in the School of […]

Penn Researchers Engineer Macrophages to Engulf Cancer Cells in Solid Tumors

One reason cancer is so difficult to treat is that it avoids detection by the body. Agents of the immune system are constantly checking the surfaces of cells for chemical signals that say they belong, but cancer cells express the same chemical signals as healthy ones. Without a way for the immune system to tell […]

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