12/27/2017: Our paper entitled “Stretchable kirigami polyvinylidene difluoride thin films for energy harvesting: Design, analysis, and performance” has been accepted for publication in Physical Review Applied. Congratulations to Dr. Nan Hu, Dajing Chen, and all other co-workers!

12/20/2017: The Chen group had a farewell dinner for Dr. Wei Zeng, who is going starting a new job at University of Virginia. Congratulations, Dr. Zeng!

12/15/2017: Our paper entitled “Probing the Roles of Physical Forces in with Physical Model of Early Chick Embryonic Chick Brain TorsionMorphogenesis” has been accepted by JoVE. Congratulations to all!

10/10/2017: Dr. Shan Zhao joins our team from Michigan Technological University. Welcome, Shan!

10/03/2017: Our paper, entitled “Dimeric Drug Polymeric Micelles with Acid-Active Tumor Targeting and FRET-Traceable Drug Release”, has been accepted for publication in Advanced Materials. Congratulations to all!

09/04/2017: Catalina joins our group as a PhD Innovation Fellow. Welcome, Catalina!

09/04/2017:  Xinyue joins our group as a M.ENG student. Welcoem, Xinyue!

09/01/2017: Congran joins our group as a new PhD student. Welcome, Congran!

09/01/2017: Dr. Xing Guo comes back from Yale and will work here for another year. Welcome, Xing!

08/28/2017: Dr. Zhe Xu joins our team from University of Texas, Dallas, co-supervised by Dr. John Zhang. Welcome, Zhe!

07/01/2017: Dr. Lin Dong joins our team from Stevens Institute of Technology, co-supervised by Dr. John Zhang. Welcome, Lin!

6/30/2017: Dr. Nan Hu leaves for OSU to start a tenure-track faculty position in Civil Engineering. Congratulations and best wishes to Prof. Hu!

6/22/2017: Hope Opia joined our lab as an ASURE fellow from Morgan State University. Welcome, Hope!

6/21/2017: Alexa M. Escalona and Thomas L. Hodsden III joined our lab as summer research assistants. Welcome, Lexi and Tommy! Congratulation to Lexi on winning the prestigious EE Just fellowship!

6/6/2017: Our paper (with Wanliang Shan’s group) titled “Buckling shape transition of an embedded thin elastic rod after failure of surrounding elastic medium” has been accepted for publication in Extreme Mechanics Letters. Congratulations to all!

6/1/2017: Xiaohe Liu and Sophie Usherwood (high school student) joins our lab as summer research assistants. Welcome, Xiaohe and Sophie!

5/23/2017: Our paper titled “Creation of faceted polyhedral microgels from compressed emulsions” has been accepted for publication in Small. Congratulations to all!

5/20/2017: Our review paper titled “Modeling Physiological Events in 2D vs. 3D Cell Culture” has been accepted for publication in Physiology. Congratulations to all!

4/28/2017: Congratulations to Congran Jin on receiving the prestigious CSC-Dartmouth fellowship and joining our group this fall as a new PhD student. Welcome to Dartmouth, Congran!

4/16/2017: We have two postdoctoral positions (jointly with Prof. John Zhang), see

4/13/2017: Dr. Nan Hu has accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Ohio State University. Great job on getting the offer out of the first job interview! Big Congratulations, Dr. Hu!

4/10/2017: Hannah Grover will join our group this summer as an NSF fellow. Welcome, Hannah!

3/20/2017: Catalina-Paula Spatarelu will join group group this fall as an Innovation fellow. Welcome, Catalina!

3/17/2017: Congratulations to Hannah Grover on receiving the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship and Kayla Duval on receiving Honorable Mention!

3/8/2017: Dr. Chen receives the CompX grant on origami research. Thank you Neukom Institute for supporting our work!

1/16/2017: Our team won the Innocentive Challenge award through a global competition. Congratulations to all!

1/12/2017: Our paper entitled “Shape Formation of Helical Ribbons Induced by Material Anisotropy” has been accepted for publication in Applied Physics Letters and featured on the cover. Congratulations to all!

1/4/2017: Hanover M. Vale (20′) joined our lab. Welcome, Hanover!

12/29/2016: Dr. Chen gave an invited seminar in Department of Mechanical Engineering at City University of HongKong. Thanks to Dr. Yong Yang and Dr. Jun Fan for hosting my visit!

12/26/2016: Dr. Chen gave an invited plenary talk at 5th East Lake International Forum for Outstanding Overseas Young Scholars. Thanks to Dr. Jianfeng Xu and Dr. Fen Zhang for the invitation!

12/16/2016: Dr. Chen is now an adjunct Assistant Professor in Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth. Thanks to Prof. Kathy Cottingham for the nomination!

12/10/2016: Benjamin Dobbins (18′) joined our lab. Welcome, Ben!

12/9/2016: Our paper entitled “Edge Effect of Strained Bilayer Nanofilms for Tunable Multistability and Actuation” in collaboration with Profs. Li Zhang and Lixin Dong is accepted for publication in Nanoscale. Congratulations to all!

11/26/2016: Our paper entitled “Deterministic Self-Rolling of Ultra-thin Nanocrystalline Diamond Nanomembranes for Three-Dimensional Tubular/Helical Architecture” in collaboration with Prof. Yongfeng Mei’s group has been accepted for publication in Advanced Materials. Congratulations to all!

11/22/2016: Dr. Chen delivered an invited talk in Society in Science’s annual symposium in Zurich. It was so nice to see all the fellows and directorates again and hear so many inspiring talks!

11/15/2016: Dr. Xin Yi left our lab and will start a tenure-track faculty position at Peking University as a “1000 Young Talents” scholar. Congratulations, Prof. Yi!

11/10/2016: Our paper on brain torsion is online ( and featured in Thayer News:

11/02/2016: Mary Tobin and June Kim received First Year Research Fellowship in Engineering and joined our lab. Congratulations and welcome!

10/29/2016: Matt Abate received an Outstanding Teaching Assistant award. Congratulations, Matt!

10/22/2016: Dr. Nan Hu and Dr. Wei Zeng were selected to present short talks at New.Mech. 2016 and the talks were well received. Congratulations!

10/20/2016: Our paper, titled “Carbon nanotube-composite hydrogels promote intercalated disc assembly in engineered cardiac tissues through 1-integrin mediated FAK and RhoA” is accepted for publication in Acta Biomaterials. Congratulations to all!

10/12/2016: Dr. Yongchao Mou  left our lab and will start a postdoctoral position at University of Illinois at Chicago. Have a great start, Dr. Mou!

10/10/2016: Out paper, titled “How the embryonic chick brain twists”, has been accepted for publication in Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Congratulations to all!

10/05/2016: Richard Yang received a prestigious Sophomore Science Scholarship. Congratulations!

10/01/2016: Dr. Wei Zeng from University of Cincinnati joins our lab. Welcome, Dr. Wei!

09/30/2016: Dr. Dong Wang  left our lab and will start a postdoctoral position at Singapore University of Technology and Design. Have a great start, Dr. Wang!

08/31/2016: Dr. Xing Guo left our lab and will start a postdoctoral position at Yale. Have a great start, Dr. Guo!

08/03/2016: Yan Li joins our lab from SUNY Buffalo. Welcome, Yan!

08/03/2016: Dr. Xu Hou from Xiamen University joined our lab as a visiting Research Scientist. Welcome, Dr. Hou!

07/15/2016: Jim Merlin Manoo Klutta joins our lab from Helmut Schmidt University. Welcome, Merlin!

07/06/2016: Xiaomin Han, the first PhD student in our group, passed the qualifying exam. Congratulations, Xiaomin!

07/01/2016: Dr. Xin Yi joins our lab from Brown University. Welcome, Dr. Yi!

06/06/2016: Hannah Grover from University of Maine joins our lab. Welcome, Hannah!

05/12/2016: Our paper titled “Elevated MTSS1 Expression Associated with Metastasis and Poor Prognosis of Residual Hepatitis B-related Hepatocellular Carcinoma” (in collaboration with Dr. Xiuyan Huang et al.) is accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research. Congratulations to all!

04/30/2016: Dr. Chen receives a Junior Scientist Support to attend the Active and Smart Matter Workshop held in June at Syracuse University.

04/15/2016: Guangchao Wan from Peking University will join our group this fall as a PhD student. Welcome, Guangchao!

04/14/2016: Hannah Grover from University of Maine will join our group this summer. Welcome, Hannah!

04/11/2016: Ben will join the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Congratulations!

04/10/2016: Eric Dai will join the PhD program in Biomedical Engineering at UPenn. Congratulations!

04/10/2016: Kayla receives the NCCC Travel Award. Congratulations!

04/03/2016: Our paper titled “Design of Nanoparticle-Based Carriers for Targeted Drug Delivery” is accepted for publication in Journal of Nanomaterials. Congratulations to all!

3/30/2016: Kayla receives NSF Graduate Student Fellowship Honorable Mention Award. Congratulations!

2/23/2016: Xiaomin won the Neukom Institute travel grant. Congratulations!

2/12/2016: Ian Trase won the Dartmouth’s PhD Innovation fellowship. Congratulations for getting this prestigious award, Ian!

2/1/2016: Dr. Lina Zhang joined our lab. Welcome!

1/10/2016: Eric Dai won the prestigious Sigma-Xi Grant-In-Aid-of-Research award. Congratulations!

1/7/2016: Muqing Ren joined our lab as a visiting student. Welcome!

12/8/2015: Dr. Xing Guo and Dr. Lin Wang joined our lab. Welcome!

12/7/2015: Eric Dai is an awardee of the best senior design presentation competition. Congratulations, Eric!

11/28/2015: Dr. Yongchao Mou joins our lab. Welcome!

11/13/2015: Our review paper (with Dr. Yongfeng Mei’s group), “Mechanical self-assembly of a strain-engineered flexible layer: Wrinkling, rolling, and twisting”, is accepted in Physical Review Applied ( Congratulations to all!

11/06/2015: Richard Yang joins our lab and is awarded a prestigious First-year Research Fellowship. Congratulations, Richard!

10/23/2015: Dr. Chen give the first Colloquium as a Dartmouth professor in the department of Materials Science and Engineering at Boston University. Many thanks for Dr. Katherine Zhang’s kind invitation and hosting the visit!

10/05/2015: Kayla is named the Thomas K. Burnap, MD 1946 Biomedical Engineering Fellow. Congratulations, Kayla!

10/01/2015: Dr. Chen receives an NIH U01 sub-award to study the biophysical mechanisms underlying collective cancer cell migrations, in collaboration with Dr. Jeffery Fredberg at Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Muhammad Zaman at Boston University. Thank you for taking the lead, Dr. Fredberg!

09/07/2015: Yijie Cai from Wuhan Institute of Technology joined our group. Welcome, Yijie!

09/07/2015: Our review article, “Fast nastic motion of plants and bio-inspired structures“, has been selected as a featured cover story in Journal of Royal Society Interface. Congratulations to all!

08/17/2015: Our review article, “Fast nastic motion of plants and bio-inspired structures“, is accepted and will appear in Journal of Royal Society Interface. Congratulations to all!

08/17/2015: Ian Trase from Princeton University joined our group. Welcome, Ian!

08/10/2015: Dr. Nan Hu from Michigan State University joined our group. Welcome, Dr. Hu!

08/07/2015: Dr. Chen delivered an invited talk at EITA-YIC 2015. Thanks for the invitation, Dr. Hwa-Han Wang!

07/29/2015: Zi delivered an invited talk titled “On Rightward Axial Rotation in Early Chick Embryonic Development” at the United States National Congress on Computational Mechanics in San Diego. Thanks for the invitation, Prof. James Lee and Dr. Jiaoyan Li!

07/10/2015: The Chen lab had the first group meeting!

07/01/2015: Dr. Chen started the tenure-track position at Dartmouth.

06/22/2015: Benjamin Conley will join our lab this summer. Welcome, Ben!

06/03/2015: Congratulations to Kayla for winning the most outstanding biomedical engineering project award for her senior thesis project!

05/10/2015: Sidan Fu from Xi’an Jiaotong University will join our lab and be co-supervised by Prof. Jifeng Liu this fall. Welcome, Sidan!

04/29/2015: Dr. Chen received a NSF travel grant to attend the McMat2015 conference in Seattle.

04/23/2015: Eric Dai received the prestigious SURF fellowship to do research at Washington University in St. Louis. Congratulations, Eric!

04/15/2015: Ian Trase from Princeton University will join our lab this fall. Welcome, Ian!

04/10/2015: Shicheng Huang from Tsinghua University will join our lab this fall. Welcome, Shicheng!

03/31/2015: Dr. Chen delivered an invited talk in the Widely Applied Mathematics Seminar at Harvard. Thanks for the invitation, Dan!

03/23/2015: Kayla Duval from Boston University will join our lab this fall. Welcome, Kayla!

03/19/2015: Xiaomin gave his first poster presentation at Dartmouth.

03/06/2015: Dr. Chen gave a talk on mechanics of morphogenesis in early brain development at APS March Meeting in San Antonio.

03/05/2015: Our paper, “Residual stresses and Poisson’s effect drive shape formation and transition of helical structures“, is accepted for publication in a special issue in Journal of Elasticity (link: Congratulations to all!

03/02/2015: Eric Dai gave a talk on helical origami structures at APS March Meeting in San Antonio. Good job, Eric!

02/25/2015: Our paper, “Metal–semiconductor Zn/ZnO core–shell nanocables: facile and large-scale fabrication, growth mechanism, oxidation behavior, and microwave absorption performance”, is published at CrystEngComm as an Advance Article (DOI: 10.1039/C5CE00013K, link:!divAbstract). Congratulations to all!

12/16/2014: Our paper, Mechanics of tunable helices and geometric frustration in biomimetic seashells, was selected as EPL Highlights of 2014.

12/15/2014: Our new paper, Shape transition and multi-stability of helical ribbons: a finite element method study, will appear at Archive of Applied Mechanics is on line now!

10/1/2014: Mr. Xiaomin Han from Tsinghua University has joined our group. Welcome, Xiaomin!

9/1/2014: Dr. Chen is a Dartmouth Research Scientist now and will be a visiting scientist at the Weitz lab at Harvard before starting a tenure-track position at Dartmouth from Jul. 2015.

4/15/2014: Eric Chao has received a prestigious uSTAR fellowship. Congratulations, Eric Chao!

3/15/2014: Eric Dai has received a prestigious Amgen Scholarship. Congratulations, Eric Dai!

2/5/2014: Call for Abstracts: Symposium on Mechanics of Soft Materials – ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition ASME Congress and Exposition, Montreal’s downtown convention center, 14-20 November 2014. 2014 ( Zi is organizing a session titled “Morphogenesis of soft and living matter”. Submit your abstract before Feb. 17, 2014 and indicate the topic of interest. We sincerely look forward to seeing you in Montreal!

2/4/2014:Our paper, “Shape selection and instability in helical ribbons”, is accepted for publication in Applied Physics Letters. Congratulations to all!

11/20/13: Our paper, “Modeling Bistable behaviors in Morphing Structures through Finite Element Simulations” is accepted for publication in Bio-Medical Materials and Engineering.Congratulations to all!

11/05/13: Our paper, “Finite Element Simulations on Mechanical Self-assembly of Biomimetic Helical Structures”, is accepted for publication in Journal of Mechanics in Biology and Medcine.Congratulations to all!

07/26/13: Our uSTAR fellow, Stephan Xie, delivered a great talk at the closing symposium of the uSTAR program. Congulations, Steve!

05/01/13: Highlights in ME today, May issue (ASME Newsletters and Magazines):—may-2013-issue/bio-inspiration-explored-at-asme-nanoengineering.

04/02/13: Stephen Xie, a rising sophomore in our lab, is becoming a prestigious uSTAR fellow at Washington University. Congratulations, Steve!

03/21/13: Zi was invited to present his work on mechanics of Venus flytrap’s fast motion and biomimetic robots at a press conference at 2013 American Physical Society March Meeting. Thanks for Jenny Lee’s invitation and the many good questions from the journalists and audience!

02/20/13: Our invited review article, “Fast Motion of Plants: from Biomechanics to Biomimetics”, appears in JPR!

02/20/13: Our invited review article, “Mechanical Instability of Thin Elastic Rods”, appears in JPR!

02/06/13: Our paper, “Mechanics without Muscles: Fast Motion of the Venus flytrap and Bio-inspired Robotics”, receives Outstanding Paper Award at the ASME 2013 2nd Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology (NEMB). Congratulations to all!

01/20/13: Inaugural issueof Journal of Postdoctoral Research ( went live!

10/05/12: Our paper (with Wanliang Shan, Chase Broederz, Clifford Brangwynne and co-workers), “Attenuated short wavelength buckling and force propagation in a biopolymer-reinforced rod”, was accepted in Soft Matter.

09/14/12: Our paper (with Qiaohang Guo, Carmel Majidi, Wenzhe Chen, David Srolovitz and MikkoHaataja), “Nonlinear Geometric Effects in Mechanical Bistable Morphing Structures” appears in Phys. Rev. Lett.

06/06/12: Zi Chen was selected as one of the eight new Society in Science – Branco Weiss fellows ( This prestigious award can provide up to five years of academic freedom.

06/11/12: Our review article “Computational Models for Mechanics of Morphogenesis” is online: Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today, 96 (2012): 132-152.

06/06/12: Zi Chen is elected as a Society in Science – Branco Weiss fellow.