Metamaterials paper published

Examining the impact of asymmetry in lattice-based mechanical metamaterials” is now published in Mechanics of Materials. This work was led by graduate student Srikar Srivatsa and was in collaboration with the Selva group at Texas A&M. In this study we use a generative algorithm to produce lattice-based metamaterials within a confined design space. We then mine that design space to find the broader set of mechanical properties enabled by fully asymmetric designs and to understand the physical mechanisms behind underlying these properties.

Congratulations MMD lab graduates!

Congratulations to Tiffany Chui, Shreya Gowda, and Anabel Sattler! Tiffany received a bachelors in Materials Science and Shreya and Anabel received bachelors in Mechanical Engineering.


Join Cornell University April 29th 10am-4pm for this year’s KK Wang Industry Day on materials design by additive manufacturing – a virtual symposium that merges industry and academia. The program will feature keynote talks, presentations from academic and industrial leaders, and a poster competition. Prof Silberstein will be talking about the MMD lab work on design of mechanical metamaterials enabled by additive manufacturing. For more information, please check out the event website. Please register to attend here.

New paper out in Advanced Materials Interfaces

The Research Article “Enabling Tunable Water-Responsive Surface Adaptation of PDMS via Metal-ligand Coordinated Dynamic Networks” is now published in Advanced Materials Interfaces. This work was led by Xinyue(Joy) Zhang. We demonstrated a new design to enable time-dependent adaptation of a polymer via dynamic functionalities. By embedding dynamic metal-ligand coordination into a PDMS matrix, a reversible hydrophobic to hydrophilic evolution with tunable extent and speed is realized on the surface when exposed to polar liquids. This work would not have been possible without an amazing collaboration with two groups: Ralph Crisci and Prof. Zhan Chen at University of Michigan, and Dr. John A. Finlay and Prof. Anthony S. Clare at Newcastle University.

Postdoc Fellowships in Engineered Living Materials open for applications, due May 10th

The Cornell Engineered Living Materials Institute (ELMI), directed by Meredith Silberstein, is seeking applicants for postdoctoral fellowships. Fellows will work with faculty affiliates to pursue their own original proposed research that aligns with ELMI objectives. Position and application details can be found here.

The ELMI is a bold new initiative at Cornell that reimagines a world in which materials are grown to address societal needs currently, insufficiently met, by engineering materials. We will utilize what biology is best at –growth, self-organization, multi-functionality, and harnessing alternative energy sources – to design materials, devices, and structures that are both more functional and more environmentally friendly than our current approaches. Achieving such a vision will require scientific, engineering, and design innovation. The field of Engineered Living Materials is multidisciplinary; applicants with expertise in all relevant disciplines (engineering, biological sciences, architecture, etc) are encouraged to apply.

MMD lab goes to MRS

Science Perspective on tailoring elastomers

Can materials be both soft and tough? Historically, low toughness has severely limited implementation of soft materials, such as hydrogels, in emerging technologies. Our perspective “Pathways to tough yet soft materials” analyzes state-of-the-art techniques for enhancing mechanical properties of hydrogels. In this article, published in the latest issue of Science, postdoc Nikola Bosnjak discusses novel methods for achieving such material features, including unfolding of mechanophores and sliding of highly entangled polymer chains. We lay out chemical and physical strategies for further toughening of soft materials, and propose physics-based models as a tool to facilitate development of such materials.

New papers out on mechanoresponsive elastomer modeling

Dr. Michael Buche’s paper on statistical mechanics derived modeling of mechanoresponsive elastomers is now out in the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids. Titled “Chain breaking in the statistical mechanical constitutive theory of polymer networks,” it methodically derives a constitutive model for elastomer networks with breakable bonds that encompasses and expands beyond the existing theories of transient networks and irreversible rate independent bond fracture.

In collaboration with the Kilian and Kruzic groups at the University of New South Wales, Michael also extended this model and applied it to a novel double network hydrogel that releases small molecules in response to applied load. This approach could be used to create implants with load responsive drug release. This second paper, “Force-mediated molecule release from double network hydrogels” is now published in Chemical Communications.


We’re a bit behind on posting, so here’s a bunch of MMD lab updates in one.

Congratulations to Shreya Gowda on another award! This time she’s won Aviation Week’s 20 Twenties – a worldwide competition for top aerospace bound students.

We have two new collaborative papers out: “Microstructural evolution of polyurea under hydrostatic pressure” in Polymer with the Fors group, contributed to by PhD student Steven Yang, and “Digital light processing of liquid crystal elastomers for self-sensing artificial muscles” in Science Advances with the Shepherd group, contributed to by PhD Student Joy Zhang.

Finally, check out this month’s imechanica blog by Prof Silberstein and PhD student Max Tepermeister on electromechanics of polyelectrolytes.

Congratulations Max and Michael!

Congratulations to now officially PhD candidate Max Tepermeister for passing his qualifying exam and to no longer PhD candidate Michael Buche for successfully defending his thesis!!!!