Mechatronic, biological and clinical micro system control; micro flow feedback control manipulation; control of electrowetting flows; directing therapeutics with precise magnetic field control; 2DPCR for spatially mapping genetic in tissue samples
Ben Shapiro is primarily intersted in research at the intersection of control theory and micro systems. His research group focuses on model based control design with validation via experiments. Roughly speaking, they do 50% modeling, 30% control design, and 20% fabrication and experiments.
Micro systems provide actuation and sensing capabilities on micrometer scales: a length that is commensurate with the size of micro-organisms and which allows direct access to biological phenomena. Control theory provides methods which allow intelligent fusion of sensor and actuator capabilities to perform complex tasks in the presence of noise and uncertainty. The marriage between the two areas is natural: micro-systems allow tremendous actuation and sensing capabilities but they have to deal with uncertain and largely unknown environments; control theory provides mathematical tools to design sensor/actuator combinations that will perform complex, coordinated tasks, but it requires novel hardware that can implement such decisions.
Current examples include modeling/control of devices with electrically actuated surface tension, modeling of component filling in micro-fluidic networks with thousands of components, modeling and optimization of micro conjugated polymer (conducting plastic) actuators, and steering control of single particles in micro-fluidic systems aimed at targeted cell positioning, cell sorting based on visual data, and directed cell-to-cell or cell-to-other collisions.
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation
Center for Small Smart Systems
Maryland Pathogen Research Institute