Soft materials are a class of polymer materials that display unique properties of softness, wetness, and biointerfacing, resembling those of biological tissues, and thus are ideal materials used around the human body for health. Soft materials and the human body form a soft material system, in which they can be seamlessly merged and mutually interacted. Emerging applications include bioelectronics, medical robots, and implantable devices. However, several limitations have placed barriers to translating soft materials to clinics: on-demand control of material behaviors in the physiological environment, high-efficacy design of material functionalities to interface with biological systems, and integration of multi-material systems to develop medical devices. 

           We are an interdisciplinary research group with expertise in mechanics, materials, and biotechnology, focusing on the multiscale engineering of soft material systems. We aim to develop high-performance, bio-integrated, and bio-interfacing soft material systems for health. Multiscale engineering involves molecule-level design (e.g., molecular engineering), polymers design (e.g., polymer functions and architectures), microscopic-level network engineering (e.g., network topologies), and macroscopic-level multi-material integration (e.g., hybrids). Our missing is to advance the fundamental understanding and translational medicine of soft material systems to create medical materials, tools, and devices for health.

PMPC coating for anti-fibrosis
PMPC coating for anti-fibrosis
Tough adhesives for biomedical applications
A tough adhesive can strongly adhere a heart in vivo. Click for paper
Topological adhesion of polymer networks
A polymer network is in topological entanglement with two polymer networks, stitching them together like suture. Click for paper
Plasticity of a material can retards the formation of creases
Creases can form in rubbers, but not in metals due to pronounced hysteresis. Click for paper.
Various buckling patterns formation on elastomer substrate
Soft substrate patterned with rigid films of various spatial arrangement can generate intricate buckling modes. Click for paper
Ratcheting instability is observed in various plastic liquids, including those that are used everyday
The plastic liquid films coated on elastomers develop wavy patterns under cyclic loads. Click for paper.
Hydrolytic crack in a rubbery network
We report an experimental finding that a crack advances in a rubbery network, under a small stress, in a moist environment.
Material inelasticity delay the formation of creases