Materials in Biology
Credit: Peter Allen

Research in biomaterials and materials for biology involves both the derivation of new materials using biological components (or inspired by biological mechanisms) and the development and application of engineered materials that interface with biology by exploiting biological or biology-like functionalities. For example, UCSB researchers are harnessing biology to produce new materials and to understand how biology leverages structure and function to achieve remarkably strong but light composite structures. Bioengineers likewise study biology as a foundation for the design of synthetic materials for implants, for engineered tissues and organs, or to make low friction interfaces for devices from contact lenses to implants.

Affiliated Faculty

Associate Professor
Mellichamp Chair in Systems Biology and Bioengineering
The Campas Lab studies the role of mechanics in shaping embryonic tissues and organs, as well as the relation between the genetic and mechanical control of embryonic development.
Associate Professor
The sub-cellular biological world is full of phenomena that challenge physical intuition: single-molecule machines, self-assembling architectures and spontaneous information processing.
Materials, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Director, California NanoSystems Institute
Materials science that integrates fundamental studies with the development of nanostructured systems with advanced properties and functions.
Carbon Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Mellichamp Professor of Systems Biology
Director, Center for Nanomedicine, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and UCSB
Nanomedicine in Biomedical Discovery, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics that Target the Molecular and Cellular Origins of Disease.
Materials and Physics
The Pincus group is presently concerned with theoretical problems in the physics of multicomponent fluids, including polymer solutions, colloidal dispersions, microemulsions, vesicles, and other surfactant phases.
Director, CBE
Professor of ME, and BMSE
The Pruitt Lab develops microtechnologies for cellular mechanobiology and mechanical measurements to study how mechanics mediates biological signaling.
Saleh's research is focused on the molecular physics underlying biological systems, with particular experience in nucleic acids, protein/DNA interactions, biomolecular elasticity, and self-assembled biomolecular systems.
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering
Engineering biomaterials to probe questions in mechanobiology.
Associate Professor
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Theogarajan is interested in the marriage between materials, electronics and micro/nanofabrication as a means of developing new devices and tools for medical applications.
Mechanical Engineering
Prof. Valentine’s research focuses on the mechanics of cells and tissues and the design of bio-inspired materials.
Assistant Professor
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
We use photo-switchable proteins from plants to understand and control complex cellular behaviors.