Our Research

Nature has been a source of inspiration for humankind. In particular, as modern technology provides various tools for fabricating and characterizing micro/nanoscale structures, there have been exciting discoveries about nature’s ingenious ways and their applications to technology. Nature has many intriguing materials and mechanical systems with a combination of characteristics absent in current human-made systems. For example, biological systems are;

  • self-organizing: Starting from building blocks, they make large scale features with complex hierarchy.
  • (self-)adaptive: They can adapt to stimuli and/or environment as an octopus changes its color and texture for camouflage depending on the surroundings.
  • self-repairing: They can regenerate its part as a wound of our body is healed.
  • sustainable: They use readily available resources such as sun, water, and air for their activities while maintaining the ecosystem.
  • error-tolerant: Even though there are some defects and environmental variations, they can develop, grow, and maintain their functions for survival.

Inspired by the fascinating characteristics of biological materials systems, we are interested in developing synthetic materials and mechanical systems that can realize intriguing characteristics of biological systems and change how people design and fabricate engineering systems.


The following list summarizes sponsored ongoing or past research in the group.


Air Force Office of Scientific Research 

Bioinspired Synthesis of Multifunctional Materials with Self-adaptable Mechanical Properties and Self-regeneration.

Army Research Office                                               

– Extreme Dissipation Behavior of Main-Chain Liquid-Crystal Elastomers and Structures.

National Science Foundation DMREF Program 

– Predictive Multiscale Modeling of the Mechanical Properties of Polymers 3D Printed Using Fused Filament Fabrication.

Office of Naval Research 

– Cost-Effective Soft Sensors.

Johns Hopkins Discovery Award
– Decoding the Biomechanics and Physics of Cetacean Biosonar.

Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award
– Reprogrammable architected materials: Decoupling form from functions.

Cohen Foundation Translational Engineering Grant 
– Vaso-Lock: A 3D Printed Coupling Device for Microvascular Anastomosis.

Maryland Innovation Initiative Grant 
– Vaso-Lock: Replacing Sutures for Faster, Easier and Safer Microvascular and Vascular Anastomosis.

National Institute of Health, R21 Grant 

– Self-Unfolding RV-PA 3D Printed Conduits.

Office of Naval Research 

– Flexible and Tunable Acoustic Transducers for Energy Harvesting.

Johns Hopkins President’s Initiative on Covid-19 Medical Supply Innovation 
– A Bioinspired Ventilator Splitter

Johns Hopkins Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute

Harvesting Energy from Flow-Induced Flutter of ‘Piezoleaves’ for Self-Powered Sensors.

Check also our previous research by clicking the following images!




Strain Rate-Dependent Extreme Energy Absorption of Architected Liquid Crystal Elastomers

Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are well-known for their excellent dissipative performance. By coupling the materials with geometries, we make architected LCEs for extreme energy absorption, and investigate the energy absorption performance under compressive loading in a wide range of strain rates, and seperated the contributions of stored energy and dissipated energy to the total energy absorption.

Self-Expanding Heart Valve for Congenital Heart Defects

Every year millions of babies are born with birth defects. In the U.S., the leading defect is congenetive heart diseases which could lead to serious complications if left untreated. The current research focus is to study the functionality of a radially folded, shape-changing RV/PA conduit that allows gradual growth that is responsive to the patient’s native signals.