I am a Ph.D. candidate in Bioengineering at Georgia Tech (Bhamla lab).
My research projects fall under three overarching themes:
Physics of living systems
Frugal science, open-source hardware
Keywords: Microfluidics, biomechanics, bioelectricity, electrophysiology, mechatronics, hydrodynamics, 3D printing, mathematical modeling, smart materials, rapid prototyping
Physics of living systems
Topics: Interfacial fluid mechanics, soft matter physics, and ultrafast biomechanics
We aim to uncover the underlying principles and limits of how living organisms across physical scales meet the challenges set by the physical world to fulfill their biological functions (e.g., locomotion, hunting, excretion, collective defense). Our research questions stem from curious observations in everyday life or exploratory fieldwork in remote areas (e.g., Peruvian Amazon, Costa Rican, and Panamanian rainforests). Our approach involves developing minimal mathematical models (e.g., oscillator models, linearized hydrodynamic models, scaling, asymptotics), physical and biological experiments (e.g., High-speed imaging, robotic analogs), and computations (e.g., computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis). Ultimately, our goal is two-fold 1) to answer questions such as 'how things function?' and 'why things are?' and 2) to develop novel bioinspired systems and materials to solve engineering problems.
Biological stations visited: 1) La Selva - Costa Rica ; 2) Piro, Osa peninsula - Costa Rica ; 3) Barro Colorado Island (Smithsonian) - Panama ; 4) Finca las Piedras - Amazon Peru ; 5) Los Amigos - Amazon Peru
Topics: stimuli-responsive metamaterials, biohybrid transducers, bioelectricity, lipid membranes, and ionic polymer metal composites
From small stimuli-responsive biomolecules to large living systems, biological entities autonomously sense, respond, and adapt to their surrounding environment. This research theme aims to integrate biological systems with engineered systems to develop biohybrid smart materials for sensing, actuation, and energy conversion. Our methods include electrophysiology, water-in-oil/organogel emulsions, finite element modeling, electroactive polymers, and 3D printing. Examples of previous projects include developing 'cell membrane mimics' using synthetic lipid bilayers functionalized with membrane channels at the interface of water droplets in oil and using these biomembranes as a building block to create large autonomic and functional metamaterials with complex emergent properties.
Frugal science and open-source hardware
Scientific hardware is the basis of many scientific discoveries. However, accessibility to scientific hardware is limited mainly due to its high cost. Frugal science and open-source hardware aim to increase the accessibility of scientific equipment and promote the democratization of scientific discovery by developing low-cost and alternative scientific tools.
Ongoing projects (Collaboration with Undergrads and K-12)
Low-cost centrifuge, vortexer, and bead homogenizer