Ashutosh Chilkoti, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 1996

Pushing Science and Engineering to Create New Soft Materials

Via Washington University in St. Louis | September 6, 2017

Engineering new materials holds enormous potential to improve and advance the global community. Breakthroughs in medicine, defense and clean energy could be achieved by designing polymeric materials with a whole host of abilities and properties.

To push this emerging field forward, the National Science Foundation (NSF) set up an initiative called Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF). In August, DMREF awarded a four-year, $1.4 million grant to a team consisting of researchers from the engineering schools of Washington University in St. Louis and Duke University. The initiative awards grants to researchers at the forefront of materials advancement, enabling them to push science, stretch their imaginations in the quest to streamline the development of new soft materials, and predict and tune their properties for both existing and novel applications.

“You can imagine making an adhesive that will also have the strength of steel,” said Rohit Pappu, the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering at Washington University’s School of Engineering & Applied Science. “Or perhaps something that will flow like toothpaste but also have the potential to be used as a miniature bioreactor. We could use new materials for drug delivery, drug storage, artificial tissues, and other applications we haven’t thought of yet.”

Researchers Ashutosh Chilkoti, the Alan L. Kaganov Professor of Biomedical Engineering and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Stefan Zauscher, the Sternberg Family Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, comprise the Duke team… Continue reading.