MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Researchers develop new gelatin microcarrier for cell production
Researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have developed a novel microcarrier for large-scale cell production and expansion that offers higher yield and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional methods, and reduces steps required in the cell retrieval process.
System inspired by camel fur harnesses evaporation to keep items cool
Inspired by camel fur's performance in the desert, MIT researchers have developed a two-layer passive cooling system, made of hydrogel and aerogel, that can keep foods and pharmaceuticals cool for days without the need for electricity.
DMSE researchers use physics technology to develop rapid COVID-19 test
A team led by Professor Alfredo Alexander-Katz has adapted physics technology to create a rapid antigen COVID test that has been able to detect viral proteins quickly with high accuracy. The test provides a mechanical readout to assess the strength of biomolecular interactions, looking at friction to detect a sample's molecular interactions and confirm the presence of the virus in very small concentrations.
Turning diamond into metal
Ju Li and other researchers have discovered a way to tweak tiny needles of diamond in a controlled way to transform their electronic properties, dialing them from insulating, through semiconducting, all the way to highly conductive, or metallic. The research, though still at an early stage, may open up a wide array of potential applications, including new kinds of broadband solar cells, highly efficient LEDs and power electronics, and new optical devices or quantum sensors.
Seeking candidates for tenure-track opening
DMSE at MIT is looking for candidates for a tenure-track faculty position to begin July 1, 2021 or later. We seek candidates with proven excellence in research who have the vision and interest to contribute to science and engineering for design, synthesis, processing, and manufacture of soft matter, molecular materials, and polymers. MIT is committed to diversity in engineering education, research, and practice. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.
Why shaving dulls even the sharpest of razors
DMSE Professor Cem Tasan has a paper in Science on why seemingly soft strands of hair can actually fracture scissors and other blades of steel. Through experiments, the team of researchers found that steel blades that are 50 times harder than hair can be damaged by hair through “mixed mode cracking.” The steel cracks, or chips, because both it and the hair that it cuts are made from mixed, or heterogenous structures.
Information about MIT's response to COVID-19
Informed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, MIT is acting to keep our community safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and their families are of the utmost importance to all of us. MIT updates are posted at now.mit.edu. DMSE-specific information is linked below, including new information about responding to cases.
Accelerating oxygen surface exchange
Enhancing the oxygen exchange rate at the surface of oxides through rational design has long been a key goal of researchers pursuing sustainable energy solutions. Building on research co-authored by Professor Harry Tuller and Bilge Yildiz, DMSE alum Sossina M. Haile's simple infiltration method reveals that reaction rates on porous mixed-conducting oxides scale with the acidity of the infiltrate and can be tuned by orders of magnitude.
Developing new ways to advance copper production
Copper and sulfur are two products of a new electrochemical process that the Allanore group has proposed, which converts natural sulfide minerals into liquid copper and elemental sulfur. Copper is the backbone of the electronic area we live in, and is predicted to support the deployment of sustainable power generation. Sulfur is an essential chemical element, source of power, acids or sulfates such as used in agriculture.