PMI/PCCM SEMINAR SERIES SPRING 2024: Xuanhe Zhao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Apr 10, 2024, 12:00 pm1:00 pm


Event Description

Soft Materials Mechanics and Immunomechanics   

Abstract: Whereas human tissues and organs are mostly soft, wet, and bioactive, machines are commonly hard, dry, and abiotic. Merging humans, machines and their intelligence is of imminent importance in addressing grand societal challenges in health, sustainability, security, education, and joy of living. However, merging humans and machines is extremely challenging due to their fundamentally contradictory properties. At MIT Zhao Lab, we exploit soft materials to form long-term, non-fibrotic, and high-efficacy interfaces between humans and machines. In this talk, I will discuss two fundamental questions in soft materials mechanics and immunomechanics:

  • What is the intrinsic fracture energy that determines the fracture and fatigue of polymer networks?
  • How can implanted soft materials interplay with the immune system to avoid fibrous encapsulation?

I will conclude the talk with a vision for future human-machine convergence – synergized with modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and precision medicine.

Bio: Xuanhe Zhao is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. The mission of Zhao Lab is to advance science and technology between humans and machines to address grand societal challenges in health and sustainability. A major current focus is the study and development of soft materials and systems. Dr. Zhao has won early career awards from NSF, ONR, ASME, SES, AVS, Adhesion Society, JAM, EML, and Materials Today. He is a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher. Bioadhesive ultrasound, based on Zhao Lab’s work published in Science, was named one of TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of the year in 2022. SanaHeal Inc., based on Zhao Lab’s work published in Nature, was awarded the 2023 Nature Spinoff Prize. Over ten patents from Zhao Lab have been licensed by companies and have contributed to FDA-approved and widely-used medical devices.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.