Research

[ Mingjun's Research Interests | Introduction to General Interests | Projects ]

Mingjun's Research Interests

  • Bioinspired Nanoparticles and Nanorobots for medicine.
  • Bioinspired Energy-efficient Propulsion for robotics.

    Nature-based nanostructures possess near endless diversity, which may offer novel solutions for therapeutic applications. We discovered that nanoparticles produced by A. oligospora held promise for stimulating the immune system and killing tumors. The findings were published in Advanced Functional Materials in December 2012. News about this research can be found here.

    The propulsive efficiency of whirligig beetles has been claimed in literature to be one of the highest measured for a thrust-generating apparatus within the animal kingdom. We discovered that whirligig beetles' curved swimming trajectories gained energy efficiency over linear trajectories by alternating the ways the legs propelled. The work was published in PLoS Computational Biology in November 2012. News about this research can be found here.

    In 2012, BBC News featured a column about our research Insect-eating sundew plant heals wounds.

    In 2011, our research was featured by the National Science Foundation Dicoveries webpage The Nanotechnology of Sundew and English Ivy.

    In 2011, we reported the unique swimming mechanism of Giardia trophozoite in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). News about this research can be found here. We are currently studying a swimming micro-robot inspired by the unique swimming mechanism.

    In 2010, we found that naturally occurring nanoparticles from Engish ivy could be used as an alternative to metal-based nanoparticles for UV protection (Journal of Nanobiotechnology, 2010). The research received national media attention

  • Science Update from AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). 08/04/2010.
  • Cosmetics and Toiletries magazine Au Naturale Nanoparticle Sun Protection.
  • Science Daily Nanoparticles in English Ivy May Hold the Key to Making Sunscreen Safer.
  • Physics News, Chemistry Times and R&D Magazine.
  • and more news.

    In 2008, we discovered that ivy secretes nanoparticles for surface climbing (Nano Letters, 2008). The discovery was highlighted by

  • Science Magazine on Editors' Choice columns: inching up the wall.
  • Nature Materials on Research Highlights: climbing secrets.
  • Chemical and Engineering News the Secret Of Ivy's Sticking Power.
  • Nature Nanotechnology on Research Highlights: Top down bottom up: Ivy league.
  • and more reports.

  • Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering • University of Tennessee • Knoxville • Tennessee 37996-2030