Soft Matter Engineering: Tribology, Rheology, and Tumors
Soft Matter Engineering is an emerging field that focuses on challenges in the design, use, and manufacturing of structures, assemblies, and devices that are “soft” or interface with “soft matter”. With the exception of bone and teeth, everything in the human body is soft, squishy, curvy and almost freeform in its geometric construction and organization. Under first inspection these biological systems appear to be almost the antithesis of classic engineering, which focuses on hard/durable materials, high levels of precision, and smooth surfaces comprised of mathematically elegant geometrical constructs. Under closer examination, these soft materials, tissues, and organs that are so critical for life are often carrying significant stresses under large strains, are involved in complex mass and heat transport functions, and are continuously remodeling and rebuilding in response to very engineering-like challenges. Grand challenges in biomedicine involve personalized medicine: engineering tumors, high throughput screening, and novel individual therapeutic regimens. This talk will discuss recent advances in understanding of soft matter tribology, and fabricating soft animate and inanimate matter using additive manufacturing methods.