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Soft materials—such as polymer solutions and colloidal dispersions—play key roles in engineering challenges like water remediation, oil recovery, and drug delivery. These applications involve the transport of soft materials in complex spaces—like porous rocks or tissues and organs in the human body—where the environment alters the material, the material itself alters the environment, and these coupled dynamics give rise to interesting emergent behavior.
The goal of our lab is to understand and control these interactions. We do this by integrating microscopy and image analysis, microfluidics and rheology, and materials processing and characterization. We also complement our work with theoretical modeling, using ideas from fluid dynamics, polymer physics, and mechanics of thin elastic structures. Ultimately, we are motivated by problems in energy, biotechnology, and environmental science. Our work is thus highly collaborative, and we seek to combine expertise from engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, and materials science.