Meet our New Assistant Professor Yuanwen Jiang
We would like to welcome Yuanwen Jiang, Assistant Professor to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
Originally trained as a chemist, Yuanwen’s research travels far beyond chemistry, covering multiple disciplines, including; materials science, molecular engineering, and biomedical engineering. With his diverse training background, he is particularly excited about transforming breakthroughs in physical sciences and engineering into novel tools to address pressing biological questions and unmet clinical needs.
After obtaining his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Nanjing University, he received his Ph.D., also in Chemistry, from the University of Chicago, under the guidance of Professor Bozhi Tian. During his thesis research, he focused on rational designs of stimuli-responsive materials for physical modulation of biological activities. Utilizing advanced characterization techniques to guide bottom-up chemical synthesis, he built a full library of silicon-based inorganic semiconducting materials with unique photo-responses and elucidated the underlying physicochemical processes that shape the structures and properties down to atomic-scale precision. Based on these material innovations, he later demonstrated an array of novel biological applications, including optical modulation of cellular calcium dynamics, neuronal excitability, neurotransmitter release from brain slices, and even animal activities in a non-genetic manner.
As Yuanwen worked with a bioelectronic interface during his postdoctoral research with Professor Zhenan Bao in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, he shifted his focus towards organic electronic materials. Through a novel molecular engineering strategy based on a rationally designed topological supramolecular network, his research solved a longstanding challenge in the field of organic bioelectronics by achieving simultaneously high mechanical robustness and good electrical conduction for conducting polymers at cellular level feature sizes. He further developed an intrinsically stretchable high-density electrode array that allows cellular-scale mapping of electrophysiological activities of soft-bodied octopus and precise neuromodulation of organ-specific activities through brainstem down to single nucleus precision.
During his postdoctoral research, he also developed a closed-loop wireless smart bandage for management of non-healing chronic wounds. By integrating flexible sensing and stimulation circuits with novel conducting hydrogel interfaces with on-demand tissue adhesion, the smart bandage allowed continuous monitoring of wound physiological conditions to detect early infections and closed-loop delivery of active treatment to accelerate tissue regeneration.
Yuanwen’s research website can be currently located at https://www.yuanwenjiang.com/research. Please contact him if you are interested in developing bioelectronic materials and devices for precision health. We’re excited to welcome Yuanwen to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.