Research
  /  
Areas of Research
Biosystems and Health

Advancing basic and translational research to address critical healthcare issues and answer fundamental biological questions at scales from molecules to systems

From molecular mechanics to multiscale physiological simulations to the control of prosthetic limbs, mechanical engineering helps develop technologies that improve human health and offers insights into fundamental biological processes. In close collaboration with the Feinberg School of Medicine and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the nation's #1 rehabilitation research hospital, we address pressing healthcare challenges.

View biosystems and health faculty

Research Area Subtopics

Brenna Argall
Robotics intelligence added to powered wheelchairs can
improve safety. (B. Argall)

Human-robot Systems

Design of effective human-robot systems requires a deep understanding of human motor control and psychophysics. Working with our partners at the medical school and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, we are advancing the state of the art in human-robot systems in areas such as haptic interfaces, advanced prosthetics, rehabilitation robots, and robots for safe physical collaboration with humans (“cobots,” a term coined in our department).



Hybrid electronic/microfluidic device architecture for stretchable radios (F. Frankel)
Hybrid electronic/microfluidic device architecture for
stretchable radios. (F. Frankel, J. Rogers)

Bioelectronics

Bioelectronic devices enable the transparent integration of flexible, biological tissue with silicon-based electronics. Applications of this interface of biology with technology are numerous, including wireless skin-like wearable sensors and actuators, resorbable electronics, and targeted drug delivery.






Integrating engineering technologies for personalized medicine (H.D. Espinosa, J. Kessler, and P. Mukherjee)
Integrating engineering technologies for personalized
medicine. (H.D. Espinosa, J. Kessler, and P. Mukherjee)

Cell Therapy

We are advancing the science and engineering of integrated microfluidic platforms for gene editing and live cell analysis. By combining single-cell RNA sequencing and machine learning lineage tracing with non-destructive temporal measurement of signaling proteins, an unprecedented detailed molecular landscape of desired lineage specifications is being constructed. We target applications in disease modeling, drug screening, immunology, and other cell therapies.



Understanding cell mechanics with atomic force microscopy (H.D. Espinosa and K. Green)
Understanding cell mechanics with atomic force
microscopy. (H.D. Espinosa, K. Green)

Mechanics of Biosystems

New computational methods are being developed to study complex dynamics of biological systems to better understand biological processes and treat diseases. We aim to shift the existing paradigm of studying disease pathogenesis of organs toward a biomechanics-based approach. We aspire to create new phenotypic classifications and diagnostic platforms with a focus on quantitative mechanics-based physiomarkers (esophagus, heart, lungs).




Robotic System Identification for a Functional Electrical Stimulation Neuroprosthesis (K. Lynch and E. Schearer)
Robotic system identification for a functional electrical
stimulation neuroprosthesis. (K. Lynch, E. Schearer)

Sensorimotor Control

Using approaches including neuromechanics, information theory, neurophysiology, psychophysics, and synthetic data generation, our work aims to reveal fundamental sensorimotor principles that guide perception, action, and cognition in humans and animals, and to apply these principles to the design and control of novel robots and assistive devices.



ME Faculty

Photo of Brenna Argall

Brenna Argall

Associate Professor of Computer Science

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Email Brenna Argall

Photo of Oluwaseyi Balogun

Oluwaseyi Balogun

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

Email Oluwaseyi Balogun

Photo of J. Edward Colgate

J. Edward Colgate

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Email J. Edward Colgate

Photo of Horacio Espinosa

Horacio Espinosa

James N. and Nancy J. Farley Professor in Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship

Director, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Program

Director of the Institute for Cellular Engineering Technologies

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and (by courtesy) Biomedical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering

Email Horacio Espinosa

Photo of Mitra Hartmann

Mitra Hartmann

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Director of Graduate Studies for Biomedical Engineering

Email Mitra Hartmann

Photo of Yonggang Huang

Yonggang Huang

Jan and Marcia Achenbach Professorship in Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and (by courtesy) Materials Science and Engineering

Email Yonggang Huang

Photo of Sinan Keten

Sinan Keten

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering and (by courtesy) Biomedical Engineering

June and Donald Brewer Professor

Email Sinan Keten

Photo of Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Director, Center for Robotics and Biosystems

Email Kevin Lynch

Photo of Malcolm MacIver

Malcolm MacIver

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Email Malcolm MacIver

Photo of Todd Murphey

Todd Murphey

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Email Todd Murphey

Photo of K.-C Kenneth Park

K.-C Kenneth Park

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Email K.-C Kenneth Park

Photo of Neelesh Patankar

Neelesh Patankar

Professor and Associate Chair of Mechanical Engineering and (by courtesy) Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

Email Neelesh Patankar

Photo of Michael Peshkin

Michael Peshkin

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Breed Senior Professor of Design

Email Michael Peshkin

Photo of Cheng Sun

Cheng Sun

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Email Cheng Sun

Photo of Ryan Truby

Ryan Truby

Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Email Ryan Truby

Photo of Gregory Wagner

Gregory Wagner

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Bette and Neison Harris Chair in Teaching Excellence

Director of Graduate Studies for Mechanical Engineering

Email Gregory Wagner

Courtesy Faculty

Photo of Ange-Therese Akono

Ange-Therese Akono

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

Email Ange-Therese Akono

Photo of Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor of Ophthalmology

Email Mark Johnson

Photo of Michael Miksis

Michael Miksis

Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

Email Michael Miksis

Photo of Aaron Packman

Aaron Packman

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering and Chemical and Biological Engineering

Email Aaron Packman

Photo of John Rogers

John Rogers

Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery (and by courtesy Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemistry)

Director, Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics

Email John Rogers

Photo of Petia Vlahovska

Petia Vlahovska

Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

Email Petia Vlahovska