Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Magnetic micro-assembly for bottom-up tissue engineering and complex material fabrication


Dr. Savas Tasoglu


Harvard Medical School


Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:00:00 PM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Tony Kim


Complex functional materials with 3D micro or nano-scale dynamic compositional features are prevalent in nature. However, the generation of 3D functional materials composed of both soft and rigid microstructures, each programmed by shape and composition, is still an unsolved challenge. In my presentation, I will first describe a method to code complex materials in three-dimensions with tunable structural, morphological, and chemical features using an untethered magnetic micro-robot remotely controlled by magnetic fields. This strategy allows the micro-robot to be introduced to arbitrary microfluidic environments for remote 2D and 3D manipulation. We demonstrate the coding of soft hydrogels, rigid copper bars, polystyrene beads, and silicon chiplets into three-dimensional heterogeneous structures. We also use coded microstructures for bottom-up tissue engineering by generating cell-encapsulating constructs. In the second part of the presentation, I will describe guided self-assembly of magnetoceptive hydrogels. Self-assembly of components into complex functional patterns at microscale is common in nature, and used increasingly in numerous disciplines such as optoelectronics, microfabrication, sensors, tissue engineering and computation. I will describe the use of stable radicals to guide the self-assembly of magnetically tunable gels, which we call “magnetoceptive” materials at the scale of hundreds of microns to a millimeter, into heterogeneous complex structures. This strategy provides a practical method to fabricate magnetically tunable microcomponents and position them without physical contact. We demonstrate unique capabilities of radicals in fabrication of soft systems with heterogeneity in material properties such as porosity, elastic modulus, and mass density; then in bottom-up tissue engineering; and finally levitational and selective assembly of microcomponents.


SAVAS TASOGLU is a postdoctoral associate at Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 from UC Berkeley, with a research focus on transport phenomena and pharmacokinetics of anti-HIV microbicide drug delivery. His current research interests at Harvard Medical School are: micro-assembly approaches, magnetics, neurotechnologies, microfluidics, cell and tissue mechanics, regenerative medicine, cryopreservation, and cell-based diagnostics for point-of-care. Dr. Tasoglu’s achievements in research and teaching have been recognized by fellowships and awards including Chang-Lin Tien Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering, Allen D. Wilson Memorial Scholarship, and UC Berkeley Institute Fellowship for Preparing Future Faculty. Dr. Tasoglu has published 21 original articles so far in journals such as: Nature Communications, Nature Materials, Advanced Materials, PNAS, Small, ACS Nano, Chemical Society Reviews, Trends in Biotechnology, Scientific Reports, Physics of Fluids, and Journal of Computational Neuroscience. Dr. Tasoglu has four articles that featured the cover of Advanced Materials, Small, Trends in Biotechnology, and Physics of Fluids with first authorship. His work was highlighted in Nature Medicine, Boston Globe, Reuters Health, and Boston Magazine.


Refreshments will be served.