Materials scientists at Harvard University have created lightweight cellular composites via 3D printing. These fiber-reinforced epoxy composites mimic the structure and performance of balsa wood. Because the fiber fillers align along the printing direction, their local orientation can be exquisitely controlled. These 3D composites may be useful for wind turbine, automotive and aerospace applications, where high stiffness- and strength-to-weight ratios are needed. Read more about the technology.

Essentially, we are broadening the materials palette for 3D printing.
Prof. Jennifer A. Lewis, whose team is 3D-printing honeycombs that mimic the material properties of balsa wood

Can we 3D print wood? How about something as lightweight and strong?

Images courtesy of Brett G. Compton, Harvard University.

Delivering drugs on cue Current drug delivery systems used to administer chemotherapy to cancer patients typically release a constant dose of the drug over time—but a new study challenges this “slow and steady” approach and offers a novel way to locally deliver the drugs “on demand,” as reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 
Led by David J. Mooney, the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a Core Faculty member at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the research team loaded a biocompatible hydrogel with a chemotherapy drug and used ultrasound to trigger the gel to release the drug. Like many other injectable gels that have been used for drug delivery for decades, this one gradually releases a low level of the drug by diffusion over time. To temporarily increase doses of drug, scientists had previously applied ultrasound, but that approach was a one-shot deal as the ultrasound was used to destroy those gels.
This gel was different. Find out why.

Delivering drugs on cue

Current drug delivery systems used to administer chemotherapy to cancer patients typically release a constant dose of the drug over time—but a new study challenges this “slow and steady” approach and offers a novel way to locally deliver the drugs “on demand,” as reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 

Led by David J. Mooney, the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a Core Faculty member at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the research team loaded a biocompatible hydrogel with a chemotherapy drug and used ultrasound to trigger the gel to release the drug. Like many other injectable gels that have been used for drug delivery for decades, this one gradually releases a low level of the drug by diffusion over time. To temporarily increase doses of drug, scientists had previously applied ultrasound, but that approach was a one-shot deal as the ultrasound was used to destroy those gels.

This gel was different. Find out why.

I love the idea that the work we all put into our classes should be accessible to the general public, the same way the books we write are accessible in libraries across the world, or the open software we create in research is fueling innovation in industry. This is wonderful for learners everywhere, and helps fulfill a central mission of Harvard, to not only create new ideas, but to make them accessible.
Greg Morrisett, Allen B. Cutting Professor of Computer Science at Harvard SEAS, who was recently given the title of Harvard College Professor in honor of his dedication to teaching

Measuring the mass of ‘massless’ electrons: Individual electrons in graphene are massless, but when they move together, it’s a different story.

Graphene, a one-atom-thick carbon sheet, has taken the world of physics by storm—in part, because its electrons behave as massless particles. Yet these electrons seem to have dual personalities. Phenomena observed in the field of graphene plasmonics suggest that when the electrons move collectively, they must exhibit mass.

After two years of effort, researchers led by Donhee Ham, Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and his student Hosang Yoon, Ph.D.’14, have successfully measured the collective mass of ‘massless’ electrons in motion in graphene.

By shedding light on the fundamental kinetic properties of electrons in graphene, this research may also provide a basis for the creation of miniaturized circuits with tiny, graphene-based components.

Read more about this massless mass

scipak:

Regrowing Teeth with Lasers
Imagine if part of a broken tooth could be regrown with a simple laser procedure. The ability to regrow teeth could make fillings, crowns, and uncomfortable visits to the dentist a thing of the past, and now researchers have inched a step closer to this scenario by figuring out how to stimulate the growth of dentin, the hard, calcified tissue that makes up teeth.
Read more about this research from the 28 May issue of Science Translational Medicine here.
[Image courtesy of Arany PR et al. Please click here for more information.]
© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Awesome work led by Prof. David Mooney here at Harvard. http://hvrd.me/ylFOF

scipak:

Regrowing Teeth with Lasers

Imagine if part of a broken tooth could be regrown with a simple laser procedure. The ability to regrow teeth could make fillings, crowns, and uncomfortable visits to the dentist a thing of the past, and now researchers have inched a step closer to this scenario by figuring out how to stimulate the growth of dentin, the hard, calcified tissue that makes up teeth.

Read more about this research from the 28 May issue of Science Translational Medicine here.

[Image courtesy of Arany PR et al. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Awesome work led by Prof. David Mooney here at Harvard. http://hvrd.me/ylFOF

Tugging on the “malignant” switch: A team of researchers led by David J. Mooney, Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, have identified a possible mechanism by which normal cells turn malignant in mammary epithelial tissues, the tissues frequently involved in breast cancer.

Images courtesy of Ovijit Chaudhuri, Harvard University.

Guess which team we support!

Hint: it’s RFC Cambridge.

The Creators Project explores “How to Create Microscopic Crystalline Flowers”

For more about this research, visit Harvard SEAS