The Whitesides lab is developing density separation methods for a variety of applications in materials science and biology.
Separation of nanoparticles in an aqueous multiphase system over time. Phases with different viscosities provide spatially separated zones to capture monodisperse populations of gold nanospheres and gold nanorods.
The synthesis of nanoparticles often yields a heterogenous mixture of byproducts, yet homogenous populations are necessary for most applications. Aqueous mulitphase systems (MuPSs) provide discontinuous steps in viscosity. We use these zones of varying viscosity to sort small objects by size and shape. Using these systems, members of the Whitesides group have separated gold nanorods from gold nanospheres in less than 10 minutes on a benchtop centrifuge.
Aqueous multiphase systems (MuPSs) provide self-forming step gradients in density.
Soft machines developed by the Whitesides lab can grasp, walk, change color, glow, and more.
The rapidly growing interest in the subject of soft robotics was largely catalyzed by the Whitesides group demonstrations of starfish grippers, mobile quadruped walkers,biomimetic camouflage, and multifunctional system in the last few years.