Navigation Links
Researchers tap into cell power to create building 'skins' that adapt to heat/light of environment
Date:9/21/2010

PHILADELPHIA - Engineers, design architects and cell biologists from the University of Pennsylvania will use a National Science Foundation grant to utilize the flexibility and sensitivity of human cells as the models for next-generation building "skins" that will adapt to changes in the environment and increase building energy efficiency.

Based upon the dynamic responses that human cells generate, researchers hope to redesign, then re-engineer interfaces between living and engineered systems with the ultimate goal of implementing some of the key features and functions revealed by cells for sensing and control at the building scale.

Administered by the NSF's Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation, the four-year, $2 million grant was awarded to Penn for its proposal "Energy Minimization via Multi-Scalar Architectures: From Cell Contractility to Sensing Materials to Adaptive Building Skins."

The objective of the Penn project is to explore the possibility of translating human cells' ability to respond to and alter their surrounding environments into new building materials. Cells alter their extracellular matrices, and thus their surrounding environment, with minimal energy through a combination of physical forces and chemical transactions. The hope is that insights into how cells accomplish this will lead to bio-mimetic designs and to engineers who can turn these findings into passive materials, sensors and imagers that will be integrated into responsive building skins at the architectural scale.

The novelty of the study lies in the collaboration of researchers and laboratories:

  • Peter Lloyd Jones' lab in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Penn School of Medicine will analyze cellular nano- and micro-mechanics.

  • Jenny Sabin and Andrew Lucia in Penn's School of Design will use architectural and computational algorithms to measure and visualize in real time how cells interact with and modify substrate geometry, thus guiding the design and fabrication of soft substrates with generic 1-D to 3-D geometrical patterns in Shu Yang's Lab in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science.

  • Based on resulting understanding of materials-environment response at the nano- and microscales, Nader Engheta and Jan Van der Spiegel's labs in Penn's Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering will design bio-inspired sensors and high throughput diagnostic tools, as well as their feedback control systems for autonomous tracking/imaging using nanotechnology to minimize energy consumption.

"Through analyzing several of the body's functions how human pulmonary artery vascular smooth muscle cells contract or relax, for example -- we will attempt to transfer this fine-scale design ecology to the macro-scale design of adaptive building skins," said Yang said. "Our hope is that buildings may one day respond to environmental factors like heat, humidity and light and respond to them most efficiently."

The proposal represents a unique, avant-garde model for sustainable design via the fusion of the architectural design studio with laboratory-based scientific research. In turn, this will benefit a diverse range of science and technologies.

The research is considered particularly important as it represents a fusion of disciplines working towards a common goal for the public interest. The hope is that research of this nature will allow scientists and designers to engage the public in the excitement of new technologies and the basic research that bears them out, as well as offering an effective tool to recruit and train students.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jordan Reese
jreese@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. NC State researchers get to root of parasite genome
2. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
3. Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
4. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. UI researchers find potentially toxic substance present in Chicago air
9. Researchers develop new self-training gene prediction program for fungi
10. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
11. Childrens National researchers develop novel anti-tumor vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers tap into cell power to create building 'skins' that adapt to heat/light of environment
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company ... North America , today announced a Series ... acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates ... tools to transform population health activities through the collection ... higi collects and secures data today on ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based and ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD 18.98 ... Continue Reading ... ...      ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel visited the ... the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. ... largest German biometrics company the two government leaders could see the three ... as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... of human cardiovascular cells for research and the development of cardiac regeneration ... to generate large numbers of cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs). Due to varying differentiation efficiencies, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Vortex Biosciences , provider of circulating tumor cell (CTC) ... cells using Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision Oncology on May 8th. ... Carlo and Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of California, Los Angeles. The publication ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Massachusetts (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... making a splash at this year’s Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in ... Smart Data Lake® 4.0 solution. The Anzo Smart Data Lake is also a ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics and pathology workflow solution provider ... Association for Pathology Informatics Annual Summit at the Wyndham Grand Hotel ... Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata will present research it led to help ...
Breaking Biology Technology: