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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Latest Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering Stories

Insect Cuticle Inspires Low-Cost Material With Exceptional Strength, Toughness
2011-12-14 03:45:28

"Shrilk" could one day replace plastic in consumer products, be used to suture wounds, and serve as scaffolding for tissue regeneration Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed a new material that replicates the exceptional strength, toughness, and versatility of one of nature's more extraordinary substances -- insect cuticle. Also low-cost, biodegradable, and biocompatible, the new material, called "Shrilk," could one day...

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2010-06-29 09:30:00

Researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard and Harvard Medical School have engineered photosynthetic bacteria to produce simple sugars and lactic acid. This innovation could lead to new, environmentally friendly methods for producing commodity chemicals in bulk. Their research findings appear in the current issue of Applied and Environmental Biology. This photosynthetic factory could also reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with...

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2010-06-25 05:17:52

Researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston have created a device that mimics a living, breathing human lung on a microchip. The device, about the size of a rubber eraser, acts much like a lung in a human body and is made using human lung and blood vessel cells. Because the lung device is translucent, it provides a window into the inner-workings of the human lung without having to invade...

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2010-06-03 08:01:09

Discovery has Potential Applications in Tissue Regeneration and High-Performance Textiles In Nature, cells and tissues assemble and organize themselves within a matrix of protein fibers that ultimately determines their structure and function, such as the elasticity of skin and the contractility of heart tissue. These natural design principles have now been successfully replicated in the lab by bioengineers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the School of...

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2009-10-20 07:52:19

Stacks of filter paper provide a realistic, easy-to-use medium for growing cells An insight from the labs of Harvard chemist George Whitesides and cell biologist Don Ingber is likely to make a fundamental shift in how biologists grow and study cells "“ and it's as cheap and simple as reaching for a paper towel. Ratmir Derda, a postdoctoral student co-mentored by Whitesides and Ingber at Harvard's new Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, has realized that by growing...