Health & Medicine

Our faculty are leading the field in applying materials science to the human body.  Projects include: implantable devices that monitor cancer; alloys used in hip or knee replacements; materials that can provide slow-release of vaccines and other therapeutics; fibers that carry lasers for delicate surgeries; and more.


Polina Anikeeva

Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences; McGovern Institute for Brain Research; Associate Director, Research Laboratory of Electronics

Professor Anikeeva designs flexible multi-material devices that understand, interface with, and control the cellular and nervous systems in the human body, across multiple functional modalities. These devices have the capability to repair tissue, make diagnoses, and act as prosthetics.

Angela Belcher

Head of the Department of Biological Engineering; James Mason Crafts Professor; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Professor of Bioengineering

Professor Belcher is engineering bio-inspired organic and inorganic hybrid materials for a wide variety of applications that range from fuel cells to imaging for tiny tumor detection.

Michael J. Cima

David H. Koch Professor of Engineering; Co-Director of the MIT Innovation Initiative; Faculty Director, Lemelson-MIT Program

Professor Cima is using advanced materials and innovative forming processes to create devices to diagnose and treat cancer, fluid disorders, metabolic diseases, trauma, and urological disorders.

Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli

Assistant Professor in Materials Processing; Jeffrey Cheah Career Development Chair in Engineering

Professor Gomez-Bombarelli is applying machine learning and atomistic simulations to materials design, solving problems from thermoset plastic recycling to design of nanoporous catalysts.

Darrell J. Irvine

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering & Biological Engineering; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Professor Irvine is creating new treatments for cancer and infectious disease through a fusion of immunology with biotechnology and materials chemistry.

Klavs F. Jensen

Warren K. Lewis Professor of Chemical Engineering; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Jensen is chemically synthesizing nanomaterials for photovoltaics, energy, displays, and biochemical sensing while leveraging high-throughput and computational methods.

Christine Ortiz

Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Ortiz studies the nanomechanics of structural biological materials toward a goal of advancing tissue repair or replacement and improved treatments for musculoskeletal disorders.


Off-menu materials science

Rob Macfarlane synthesizes new composite materials by manipulating their structure at the nanometer scale.  

A path to more efficient diagnoses

Through MIT’s Kavanaugh Fellowship, postdoc Diana Mojahed is miniaturizing a microscope to image disease—and exploring commercial opportunities.