Faculty Directory
Horacio D. 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


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A212
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-5989Email Horacio Espinosa


Micro and Nanomechanics Lab


Mechanical Engineering


Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Graduate Program

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Ph.D. Solid Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Applied Mathematics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Solid Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Structural Engineering, Polytechnic of Milan, Milan, Italy

Civil Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, six-year professional degree, Northeast National University, Corrientes/ Resistencia, Argentina

Research Interests

Professor Espinosa’s research focuses in two areas: (1) understanding the mechanical behavior of natural and synthetic nanomaterials across scales, from nano to macro, and (2) developing micro/nano devices for materials research and personalized medicine.

Significant Recognition

  • Member, Academia Europaea, 2019-present
  • Member, Russian Academy of Engineering, 2011-present
  • Prager Medal, Society of Engineering Science, 2019
  • Murray Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2014
  • Fellow, American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2013
  • Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2013
  • Member, European Academy of Sciences and Arts (elected), 2010
  • Member, U.S. National Committee of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 2010-present
  • Member, Society of Engineering Science Board of Directors (elected), 2008-present
  • Fellow, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2008
  • Lazan Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2008
  • SES Young Investigator Medal, Society of Engineering Science, 2007
  • Hetenyi Award, Society of Experimental Mechanics, 2005
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2004
  • Junior Award, American Academy of Mechanics, 2002
  • Fellow, American Academy of Mechanics, 2001
  • ASME, Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division, Appreciation Award, 2001
  • ONR-Young Investigator Award, 1997
  • NSF-CAREER Award, 1996

Significant Professional Service

  • Member, U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, National Academy of Sciences
  • Member, IUTAM Congress Committee and General Assembly
  • National Academies Panel on Materials Science and Engineering to advise the Army Research Lab, 2013-2016
  • President, Society of Engineering Science, 2012-present
  • Founding Principal Editor of Materials Research Communications, 2011-present
  • Co-Editor of the Wiley Book Series on Micro and Nanotechnologies, 2009-present
  • Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental Mechanics, 2006-2010
  • Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Mechanics, 2003-2009
  • Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Mechanics, 2002-2006
  • Editor of Mechanics a publication of the American Academy of Mechanics, 1998- 2004
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics, 2010-present
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Laboratory Automation, 2007-present
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 2007-present

Selected Publications

H. Nguyen*, X. Zhang*, J. Wen, X. Zhang, P.M. Ajayan, H.D. Espinosa, "Engineering the fracture resistance of 2H-transition metal dichalcogenides using vacancies: An in-silico investigation based on HRTEM images," Materials Today, 2023.

Y. Li*, H. Jin*, W. Zhou, Z. Wang, Z. Lin, C.A. Mirkin†, H.D. Espinosa, "Ultrastrong colloidal crystal metamaterials engineered with DNA," Sci. Adv., 2023, 9, pp. eadj8103

X. Zhang*, H. Nguyen*, X. Zhang, P.M. Ajayan, J. Wen, H.D. Espinosa, “Atomistic Measurement and Modeling of Intrinsic Fracture Toughness of Two-Dimensional MaterialsPNAS, 2022, 119, pp. e2206756119.

H. Jin, E. Zhang, H.D. Espinosa, "Recent Advances and Applications of Machine Learning in Experimental Solid Mechanics: A Review," ASME Applied Mechanics Reviews, 2023, 75, pp. 061001.

N. Pathak*, C.A. Patino*, N. Ramani, P. Mukherjee, D. Samanta, S.E. Ebrahimi, C.A. Mirkin, H.D. Espinosa, "Cellular delivery of large functional proteins and protein-nucleic acid constructs via localized electroporation," Nano Letters, 2023, 23, pp. 3653-3660

P. Mukherjee*, C. Peng*, T. McGuire, J. Hwang, C.H. Puritz, N. Pathak, C.A. Patino, R. Braun, J.A. Kessler†, H.D. Espinosa, "Single-cell transcriptomics reveals reduced stress response in stem cells manipulated using localized electric fields," Materials Today Bio, 2023, 19, pp. 100601

P. Mukherjee, S.H. Park, N. Pathak, C.A. Patino, G. Bao, H.D. Espinosa, “Integrating Micro and Nano Technologies for Cell Engineering and Analysis: Toward the Next Generation of Cell Therapy Workflows,ACS Nano, 2022, 16, pp. 15653. 

C.A. Patino*, N. Pathak*, P. Mukherjee*, S.H. Park, G. Bao, H.D. Espinosa, “Multiplexed High-Throughput Localized Electroporation Workflow with Deep Learning-based Analysis for Cell Engineering,Sci. Adv., 2022, 8, eabn7637

P. Mukherjee*, C.A. Patino*, N. Pathak, V. Lemaitre, H.D. Espinosa, “Deep Learning – Assisted Automated Single Cell Electroporation Platform for Effective Genetic Manipulation of hard-to-Transfect Cells,” Small, 2022, 8, pp. 2107795. 

N.A. Alderete*, N. Pathak*, H.D. Espinosa, “Machine Learning Assisted Design of Shape-programmable 3D Kirigami Metamaterials,” NPJ Comput. Mater., 2022, 8, 191.

J. Y. Choi, X. Zhang, H. Nguyen, M. R. Roenbeck, L. Mao, R. A. Soler-Crespo, S. T. Nguyen and H. D. Espinosa,"Atomistic Mechanisms of Adhesion and Shear Strength in Graphene Oxide-Polymer Interfaces" Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Vol. 156, p.104578, 2021.

X. Zhang, H. Nguyen, J. T. Paci, S. K. R. S. Sankaranarayanan, J. L. Mendoza-Corte and H. D. Espinosa,"Multi-objective parametrization of interatomic potentials for large deformation pathways and fracture of two-dimensional materials" npj Computational Materials, Vol. 7, No. 1, p.1-11, 2021.

C. A. Patino, P. Mukherjee, V. Lemaitre, N. Pathak and H. D. Espinosa,"Deep Learning and Computer Vision Strategies for Automated Gene Editing with a Single-Cell Electroporation Platform"SLAS Technology: Translating Life Sciences Innovation, Vol. 26, Issue 1, p.2472630320982320, 2021.

Z. Lin, D. J. Magagnosc, J. Wen, C.-S. Oh, S.-M. Kim and H. D. Espinosa,"In-Situ SEM High Strain Rate Testing of Large Diameter Micropillars Followed by TEM and EBSD Postmortem Analysis"Experimental Mechanics, p. 1-14, 2021.

N. A. Alderete, L. Medina, L. Lamberti, C. Sciammarella and H. D. Espinosa, "Programmable 3D structures via Kirigami engineering and controlled stretching" Extreme Mechanics Letters, p. 101146, 2020.

X. Zhang, L. Medina, H. Cai, V. Aksyuk, H. D. Espinosa and D. Lopez, "Kirigami Engineering—Nanoscale Structures Exhibiting a Range of Controllable 3D Configurations" Advanced Materials, p. 2005275, 2020.

S. S. P. Nathamgari, N. Pathak, V. Lemaitre, P. Mukherjee, J. J. Muldoon, C. Peng, T. McGuire, J. N. Leonard, J. A. Kessler and H. D. Espinosa, "Nanofountain Probe Electroporation Enables Versatile Single-Cell Intracellular Delivery and Investigation of Postpulse Electropore Dynamics" Small, Vol. 16, No. 43, p. 2002616, 2020.

Z. Lin, L. S. Novelino, H. Wei, N. A. Alderete, G. H. Paulino, H. D. Espinosa and S. Krishnaswamy, "Folding at the Microscale: Enabling Multifunctional 3D Origami-Architected Metamaterials" Small, Vol. 16, No. 35, p. 2002229, 2020.

P. Mukherjee, E. J. Berns, C. A. Patino, H. Moully, L. Chang, S. S. P. Nathamgari, J. A. Kessler, M. Mrksich and H. D. Espinosa, "Temporal Sampling of Enzymes from Live Cells by Localized Electroporation and Quantification of Activity by SAMDI Mass Spectrometry" Small, 2000584, p. 1-10, 2020.

S. S. P. Nathamgari, P. Mukherjee, J. A. Kessler and H. D. Espinosa, "Localized Electroporation with Track-Etched Membranes" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 116, No. 46, p. 22909-22910, 2019.

H. D. Espinosa, A. Zaheri, H. Nguyen, D. Restrepo, M. Daly, M. Frank and J. McKittrick, "In situ Wear Study Reveals Role of Microstructure on Self-Sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth" Matter, Vol. 1, No. 5, p. 1246-1261, 2019.

S. Bhowmick, H. D. Espinosa, K. Jungjohann, T. Pardoen and O. Pierron, "Advanced microelectromechanical systems-based nanomechanical testing: Beyond stress and strain measurements" MRS Bulletin, Vol. 44, No. 6, p. 487-493, 2019.

X. Zhang, H. Nguyen, M. Daly, S. T. Nguyen and H. D. Espinosa, "Nanoscale Toughening of Ultrathin Graphene Oxide-Polymer Composites: Mechanochemical Insights into Hydrogen-Bonding/van Der Waals Interactions, Polymer Chain Alignment, and Steric Parameters" Nanoscale, Vol. 11, p. 12305-12316, 2019.

S. S. P. Nathamgari, S. Dong, L. Medina, N. Moldovan, D. Rosenmann, R. Divan, D. Lopez, L. J. Lauhon and H. D. Espinosa, "Nonlinear Mode Coupling and One-to-One Internal Resonances in a Monolayer WS2 Nanoresonator" Nano Letters, Vol. 19, No. 6, p. 4052-4059, 2019.

R. A. Soler-Crespo, L. Mao, J. Wen, H. T. Nguyen, X. Zhang, X. Wei, J. Huang, S. T. Nguyen and H. D. Espinosa "Atomically Thin Polymer Layer Enhances Toughness of Graphene Oxide Monolayers" Matter, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matt.2019.04.005 (Cover Article)

L Mao, H Park, RA Soler-Crespo, HD Espinosa, TH Han, SBT Nguyen, J. Huang, “Stiffening of graphene oxide films by soft porous sheets,” Nature Communications, 10 (1), 1-7, 2019

R. Yang, V. Lemaitre, C. Huang, A. Haddadi, R. McNaughton and H. D. Espinosa, "Monoclonal Cell Line Generation and CRISPR/Cas9 Manipulation via Single-Cell Electroporation" Small, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.201702495, 2018.

P. Mukherjee, S. S. P. Nathamgari, J. A. Kessler and H. D. Espinosa "Combined Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Localized Electroporation-Based Cell Transfection and Sampling" ACS Nano, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b05473.

B. Wang, T. N. Sullivan, A. Pissarenko, A. Zaheri, H. D. Espinosa and M. A. Meyers "Lessons from the Ocean: Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance" Advanced Materials, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201804574.

R. A. Soler-Crespo, W. Gao, L. Mao, H.T. Nguyen, M.R. Roenbeck, J.T. Paci, J. Huang, S.T. Nguyen, H. D. Espinosa, “The Role of Water in Mediating Interfacial Adhesion and Shear Strength in Graphene Oxide,” ACS Nano, Vol. 12, 6089, 2018.

A. Zaheri, J. S. Fenner, B. P. Russell, D. Restrepo, M. Daly, D. Wang, C. Hayashi, M. A. Meyers, P. D. Zavattieri, H. D. Espinosa, "Revealing the Mechanics of Helicoidal Composites through Additive Manufacturing and Beetle Developmental Stage Analysis" Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201803073, 2018

R. Yang, A. Zaheri, W. Gao, C. Hayashi and H. D. Espinosa, "AFM Identification of Beetle Exocuticle: Bouligand Structure and Nanofiber Anisotropic Elastic Properties" Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 27, Cover Article, 1603993, 2017.

M. J. Chon, M. Daly, B. Wang, X. Xiao, A. Zaheri, M. A. Meyers and H. D. Espinosa, "Lamellae spatial distribution modulates fracture behavior and toughness of african pangolin scales " Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Vol. 76, p. 30-37, 2017.

J. A. Broussard, R. Yang, C. Huang, S. S. P. Nathamgari, A. M. Beese, L. M. Godsel, S. Lee, F. Zou, N. J. Sniadecki, K. J. Green and H. D. Espinosa, "The desmoplakin/intermediate filament linkage regulates cell mechanics" Molecular Biology of the Cell, DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E16-07-0520, 2017.

H. D. Espinosa and R. A. Soler-Crespo, "Materials science: Lessons from tooth enamel" Nature, Vol. 543, No. 7643, p. 42-43, 2017.

In the Classroom

Professor Espinosa has taught a variety of courses, including Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Experiments in Micro/Nano Science and Engineering, Experimental Engineering, Elasticity, Damage and Inelasticity of Advanced Materials, Advanced Computational Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, and Aircraft Structures.

His teaching philosophy addresses issues that require particular attention in modern education: (a) the increasingly international world of business and markets; (b) the technological advances that are continuously raising the speed at which information is obtained and transmitted; and (c) the dynamics of the job market that makes likely that most individuals will enjoy several careers in their lifetime. It is his view that a student-centered curriculum in which the student takes responsibility for her or his education rather than a rigid and static core curriculum is the best choice for the future. Such a curriculum maximizes multidisciplinary course work, independent study and research (honor degrees), and encourages experimentation and intellectual expansion.