Northwestern Events Calendar


BME Seminar Series: Dr. Xuanhe Zhao

When: Thursday, May 2, 2024
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CT

Where: Technological Institute, Tech M345, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Naomi Vasciannie  

Group: McCormick - Biomedical Engineering Department (BME)

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


“Merging Humans and Machines: Innovation and Translation”

Whereas human tissues and organs are mostly soft, wet, and bioactive, machines are commonly hard, dry, and abiotic. Merging humans and machines is of imminent importance in addressing grand societal challenges in health, sustainability, security, education, and happiness of living. However, merging humans and machines is extremely challenging due to their fundamentally contradictory properties. At MIT Zhao Lab, we invent, understand, and facilitate the translation of soft materials to form long - term, robust, non - fibrotic, and high - efficacy interfaces between humans and machines. In this talk, I will discuss two examples of merging humans and machines, including tough and fast bioadhesives that can replace sutures and wearable devices that can continuously image diverse deep organs. I will propose two challenges in science and technology: 

• Can we develop tissue - implant interfaces that fully eliminate fibro tic encapsulation? 

• Can we image the full human body continuously over days to months? 

I will conclude the talk with a vision for future human - machine convergence – aided by and synergized with modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and precision medicine.

Xuanhe Zhao is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. The mission of Zhao Lab is to advance science and technology between humans and machines to address grand societal challenges in health and sustainability. A major current focus is the study and development of soft materials and systems. Dr. Zhao has won early career awards from NSF, ONR, ASME, SES, AVS, Adhesion Society, JAM, EML, and Materials Today. He has been a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher since 2018. Bioadhesive ultrasound, based on Zhao Lab’s work published in Science, was named one of TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of the year in 2022. SanaHeal Inc., based on Zhao Lab’s work published in Nature, was awarded the 2023 Nature Spinoff Prize. Over ten patents from Z hao Lab have been licensed by companies and have contributed to FDA - approved and widely - used medical devices. 

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