The nano/micro-scale Transport Engineering Laboratory (nTEL), under the direction of Prof. Jeffrey L. Moran, investigates the fundamental physics underlying nano and microscale transport phenomena in fluids, especially involving interfaces and electric fields.  Our work will enable design of better sustainable energy systems, more energy-efficient and affordable wastewater treatment methods, and even improved treatments for diseases like cancer.  See our publications page to learn more, and contact Prof. Moran for details.

Research snapshots:

Heat Transfer enhancement using active particles

As they move through fluids, self-propelled particles stimulate the fluid around them, engendering fluid flows that can be complex. We are interested in the capacity of these flows to lead to convective heat transfer enhancement in the fluid. Initial Molecular Dynamics simulations show that indeed self-propelled particles can enhance the effective thermal conductivity of particle suspensions by 10% compared to conventional particle (nanofluid) suspensions. Next steps are to scale these results up to larger particles, different particle shapes, and faster swimming speeds. This research has the potential to change the course of heat transfer fluids in the coming decades.

Self-propelled Particles in Biomimetic Gels

Despite the much-touted promise of using nanoparticles to deliver targeted therapies for cancer, the vast majority of these carefully-engineered drug-laden nanocarriers fail to reach their intended targets (i.e., tumors). We are developing self-propelled nanoparticles that will navigate through the extracellular matrix surrounding a solid tumor, guided by magnetic fields and tracked using ultrasound imaging, to deliver payloads in and around tumor sites.

Ultra-Insulating Gel Materials for Garment Applications

Coming soon!

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

- Samuel Beckett