Soft material science continues to play a central role in solving interdisciplinary engineering problems in different fields ranging from fundamental fluid mechanics to translational tissue engineering. In this talk, I will discuss our recent scientific discoveries and engineering advances in two drastically different soft matter systems: colloidal suspensions and bioengineered human kidneys. While colloidal suspensions such as micron-sized particles in liquid are relatively simple, understanding their flow behavior remains a grand challenge in the field of rheology. In the first part of my talk, I will describe how we understand such a complex rheological property by developing two novel experiment methods: Flow Reversal Rheometry and Stress Assessment from Local Structure Anisotropy (SALSA). These methods measure the microscopic interparticle forces and their contributions to the suspension viscosity. These tools enable us to address several fundamental scientific questions such as defect-defect interactions and the underlying mechanism of shear thickening. In the second part of my talk, I will describe how I apply principles of soft materials science to design and 3D bioprint a human kidney tissue. In particular, I will describe how we engineered the biocompatibility, stiffness, and flow property of biomaterials to manufacture 3D micro-physiological environments. Our tissue construct closely recapitulates the in vivo physiological stimuli and physical cues, and thus generates healthy kidney cell phenotype and superior tissue functions. Our 3D kidney tissue provides a useful platform for in vitro studies of kidney function, disease modeling, and pharmacology.
About the Speaker
Neil Lin works as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Jennifer Lewis in the School of Applied Sciences and Engineering at Harvard University. He earned his PhD in Physics from Cornell University in 2016. Dr. Lin is originally from Taiwan and received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from the National Tsinghua University, Taiwan. He is recipient of NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein F-32 Fellowship (2018) and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Postdoc Fellowship (2016).