Professor Alison Sweeney studies bio-optical properties of cephalopods and the cellular and biochemical mechanisms of dynamic camouflage.


Fluid Physics at the Molecular Scale

The image shows flagella driven by dynein molecular motors. The vectors show the position and time-dependent velocity.  There is also a graph of the body velocity. Note the desychronization event.

This work comes from Adjunct Professor Jerry Gollub's lab.


Nanoscale Electronic Nose

Prof. Charlie Johnson's group at Penn have coupled olfactory receptor proteins from mice to carbon nanotubes to create a prototype electronic nose. Olfactory receptors are embedded in nanodiscs that mimic the environment of the olfactory cell membrane.  Odorant molecules bind to the receptor, which produces an electrical response in the carbon nanotube (gray cylinder).


Kirigami Topology

Professor Randall Kamien studies the physics and mathematics of kirigami — an extension of origami that allows cutting holes into the paper.  By treating the sheet of paper as a two-dimensional crystalline lattice, the folds, cuts, and pleats, can be understood in terms of topological defects in the underlying structure.

LaBr3 detector modules for Next Generation PET scanners

On the left is a schematic of adjacent modules with overlapping photomultiplier tubes while the right is a photograph of a single module with PMT's and 8-mm thick light guide.  Improvements in timing resolution for time-of-flight PET is the research of Adjunct Prof. Joel Karp in Penn Radiology.