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News Archive

  • Sep 23, 2014

    How to Make a Soft Robot news

    Gizmodo
    Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences recently published an open source soft robotics toolkit to help DIY fans and robotics researchers craft their own. It is extremely thorough, providing step-by-step instructions on how to make a variety of different designs, including a robotic hand...

  • Sep 19, 2014

    Soft robotics 'toolkit' features everything a robot-maker needs news

    soft robotics toolkitScience Daily
    A new resource provides both experienced and aspiring researchers with the intellectual raw materials needed to design, build, and operate robots made from soft, flexible materials. With the advent of low-cost 3-D printing, laser cutters, and other advances in manufacturing technology, soft robotics is emerging as an increasingly important field...

  • Sep 18, 2014

    Using Bacterial Biofilms For Production Of New Self-Healing Materials, Bioprocessing Technologies news

    biofilms

    redOrbit
    Harvard team lays the foundation for using bacterial biofilms for production of new self-healing materials and bioprocessing technologies. In short, they want to give biofilms a facelift, and have developed a novel protein engineering system called BIND to do so. Using BIND, which stands for Biofilm-Integrated Nanofiber Display, the team said biofilms could be tomorrow’s living foundries for the large-scale production of biomaterials that can be programmed to provide functions not possible with existing materials...

  • Sep 18, 2014

    Harvard Is Creating a Wearable Robot news

    soft exosuitBoston Magazine
    Imagine a future where people can wear an Iron Man-like suit concealed underneath clothing; a suit that could help soldiers walk further with more stamina, or help the elderly or physically disabled stay mobile longer. Well, thanks to researchers over at Harvard, the future is here...

  • Sep 16, 2014

    From E. coli to Ebola: A device that can filter deadly pathogens out of the body news

    sepsis biospleenThe Washington Post
    The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed at least 2,500 lives, and a treatment or vaccine is still at least months or years away. But what if deadly viruses like Ebola can be effectively treated without the need for a vaccine? Researchers at Harvard University, led by bio-engineer Donald E. Ingber, are in the process of developing a medical device that is optimized to fight a wide range of diseases by simply mimicking and enhancing the blood-cleansing properties of the human spleen...

  • Sep 16, 2014

    Sticky Nanobeads Can Strip Bacteria, Viruses From Blood news

    sepsis biospleenDiscover Magazine
    Bioengineers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have developed a blood filter that quickly grabs toxins, such as E.coli or Ebola, from the bloodstream using protein-coated nanobeads and magnets. In early tests, the biomechanical treatment removed more than 90 percent of toxins from infected human blood within a few hours...

  • Sep 16, 2014

    Mechanical Forces Affect Cell Development and Disease [Video] news

    Scientific American
    In his October 2014 Scientific American article “Twists Of Fate,” biologist Stefano Piccolo explains how physical forces outside of a cell affect genes that control that cell’s behavior. Donald E. Ingber, one of the founders of this area of research, called mechanobiology, says in this video that “mechanical forces are as important for the control of cell and tissue and organ development as are chemicals and genes.” Ingber, founding director of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, says that you can squish undifferentiated cells between two pieces of rubber, and it prompts those cells to develop into specialized, complex types that form different parts of an organ. And when such physical forces are perturbed, he notes, it can produce disease...

  • Sep 15, 2014

    Cutting the cord on soft robots: Machine walks through snow, flames and can be run over by cars news

    Science Daily
    Engineers have developed the world's first untethered soft robot -- and demonstrated that the quadruped, which can literally stand up and walk away from its designers, can walk through snow, fire and even be run over by a car. The hope is that such robots might one day serve as a search and rescue tool following disasters...

  • Sep 14, 2014

    Artificial Spleen Cleans Ebola from Blood news

    Scientific American
    The newly developed device developed by a team of Wyss Institute researchers improves survival in rats after severe infections with everything from E. coli to Ebola...

  • Sep 14, 2014

    Artificial spleen cleans up blood news

    biospleenNature
    Researchers have developed a high-tech method to rid the body of infections — even those caused by unknown pathogens. A device inspired by the spleen can quickly clean blood of everything from Escherichia coli to Ebola, Wyss Institute researchers report on 14 September in Nature Medicine...

  • Sep 14, 2014

    Soft Exosuit Project Receives DARPA Funding news

    soft exosuitredOrbit
    DARPA has awarded a sizable grant to the Harvard University researchers behind a biologically-inspired soft exoskeleton that could help soldiers travel greater distances and carry heavier loads while tiring out less easily...

  • Sep 12, 2014

    Cutting the Cord on Soft Robots news

    Product Design & Development
    Working in the lab of Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Rob Wood, a team of researchers led by postdoctoral fellow Mike Tolley have built the first untethered soft robot that is able to walk through flames and snow without rigid structural components. Inspired by the plethora of natural organisms that can move around and be successful despite being at least partially soft, the team set out to challenge the notion of a robot as a metal hunk. "As a lay person, you can't just walk into a factory where industrial robots are working," said Mike Tolley, a postdoctoral fellow at the Wyss Institute who designed the system. "A soft system is inherently less dangerous, so you can start to interact with it more, and I think that opens up many more opportunities."

  • Sep 12, 2014

    DARPA is funding the development of a soft, fabric-based exoskeleton news

    soft exosuitEngadget
    When someone says "exoskeleton," it's easy to imagine a clunky contraption made of metal, like the one we typically see in the news courtesy of various research groups, or in movies like Edge of Tomorrow. The exoskeleton that Harvard's Wyss Institute is developing, though, doesn't look like it was torn off a robot: it's called the Soft Exosuit, and as its name implies, it's lightweight and made of fabric...

  • Sep 12, 2014

    Scientists Made a Soft Exoskeleton That You Put On Like Pants news

    Gizmodo
    Exoskeletons that give you superhuman strength sound incredibly awesome but also look incredibly awkward and bulky and uncomfortable. So what about a soft exoskeleton that you wear like a pair of pants? Harvard researchers recently won a DARPA grant of up to $2.9 million to develop the Soft Exosuit. So far, they've created a proof-of-concept suit that resembles black leggings, threaded with cables and attached to a bulky battery pack at the waist...

  • Sep 12, 2014

    Wearable smart suits could help soldiers, those with impairments news

    soft exosuitCBS News
    CBS News explores how the DARPA-funded Soft Exosuit developed by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Conor Walsh and his team is fundamentally changing what is possible in wearable robotics. Components of the suit align with muscles and tendons, such as the hip and ankles, and microprocessors and sensors detect what the wearer is trying to do. Light and flexible power seams prevent the suit from impeding mobility and allow the system to reduce the risk of fatigue and injuries to people while carrying heavy loads...

  • Sep 11, 2014

    Harvard's Wyss Institute awarded DARPA contract to further develop Soft Exosuit news

    soft exosuitPhys.org
    The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announced today that it was awarded a first-phase $2.9 million follow-on contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to further develop a biologically inspired smart suit...

  • Sep 11, 2014

    Cutting the cord on soft robots news

    Phys.org
    Developers from Harvard's School for Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have produced the first untethered soft robot—a quadruped that can stand up and walk away from its designers...

  • Sep 2, 2014

    Best of Bio-design news

    Uncube Magazine
    MoMA's Senior Curator Paola Antonelli named Wyss Institute's lead technology organs-on-chips 'Best of Bio-design' in the latest issue of Uncube Magazine.

  • Aug 27, 2014

    Growing human tissue for mass-production news

    PBS Newshour
    PBS Newshour explains how the Wyss Institute's Organs-on-Chips project could help increase the number of drugs availible to consumers by reducing the monumental costs attributed to failed drug trials...

  • Aug 26, 2014

    Boston scientists develop analytics for stem cell engineering news

    Boston Business Journal
    A team of researchers led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member James Collins have developed a computer algorithm to test stem cells, a breakthrough that has allowed scientists to regrow part of a colon in a mouse. In back to back papers in Cell, scientists announced a new tool called CellNet, which allows scientists to analyze the network biology of a cell, or the genes that are turned on and off that give the cell certain characteristics. Drawing from a library of public genome databases compiled through the algorithm, scientists can then compare the cell's network to other cell types to more accurately pinpoint what a cell is or what it most closely resembles. According to Collins, better cell understanding could have implications for creating patient-specific cells to assess drug responsiveness, for creating regenerative medicine, and for regrowing tissues or organs in patients.

  • Aug 20, 2014

    Le Laboratoire Cambridge Opens in October as an Unrivaled Art & Design Center in Cambridge Inviting Visitors to Experience First-Hand the Wonders and Experiments of Innovators of All Kinds news

    Reuters
    Le Laboratoire Cambridge, a one-of-a-kind art and design center for creativity, invention and boundless learning, will open in Cambridge on October 31. Le Lab will be the US flagship of ArtScience Labs, a global organization originally founded in Paris by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member David Edwards. ArtScience Labs is dedicated to the development of the most radical ideas that transform the way we learn, imagine and evolve...

  • Aug 19, 2014

    How worms crawl: mathematical model challenges traditional view news

    EarthwormsScience Daily
    Science Daily describes a new mathematical model developed in part by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member L. Mahadevan that challenges the traditional view of how earthworms and insect larvae get around. Instead of inching along via a constant wave of contraction and expansion that is generated by the central brain, their movement is controlled and influenced by the contours of the surface they are moving across. The team believes their new model could be used to improve the mobility of robots...

  • Aug 14, 2014

    A self-organizing thousand-robot swarm news

    Science Daily
    The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Just as trillions of individual cells can assemble into an intelligent organism, or a thousand starlings can form a great flowing murmuration across the sky, the Kilobots demonstrate how complexity can arise from very simple behaviors performed en masse. To computer scientists, they also represent a significant milestone in the development of collective artificial intelligence...

  • Aug 14, 2014

    At Harvard, tiny robots ‘swarm’ into shape news

    The Boston Globe
    When Harvard scientist Michael Rubenstein walks into the laboratory in the morning, he is greeted with a scene somewhere between a disco and the opening of a science fiction movie about a robot apocalypse. A constellation of LED lights blinks in the darkness -- the electronic heartbeat of his 1,024-robot horde. They are ready to do his bidding...

  • Aug 14, 2014

    Tissue development 'roadmap' created to guide stem cell medicine news

    Reuters
    In a boon to stem cell research and regenerative medicine, scientists at Boston Children's Hospital, the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Boston University have created a computer algorithm called CellNet as a "roadmap" for cell and tissue engineering, to ensure that cells engineered in the lab have the same favorable properties as cells in our own bodies...

We've won a Webby Award!

Wyss Institute is a winner of the 2012 Webby Awards in the Science category.