Biology can teach us how to be better engineers. Engineering can help us manipulate biology.
Biological materials have an unparalleled ability to sense, process, and respond to their environment in real-time. The Raman Lab creates adaptive biological materials powered by assemblies of living cells for applications ranging from medicine to machines.
Currently, the Raman Lab is focused on engineering biological actuators:
Humans and other biological creatures navigate unpredictable and dynamic environments by combining compliant mechanical actuators (skeletal muscle) with neural control and sensory feedback. Abiotic actuators have yet to match their biological counterparts in their ability to autonomously sense and adapt their form and function to changing surroundings. The Raman Lab uses biological materials and engineering tools to build living neuromuscular tissues. These biological actuators help us understand and manipulate the architecture and function of the biological motor control system. Our goal is to help restore mobility to those who have lost it after disease or trauma, and to deploy biological actuators as functional components in machines.