BMNS – Bio, Micro, and Nano Systems
The Bio, Micro, and Nano Systems Thrust Area unites a diverse research portfolio with a wealth of interdisciplinary intersections. The biological systems research in BMNS is interdisciplinary between (mechanical) engineering and biology.
The interdisciplinary connections between these areas can take two different directions, that are not mutually exclusive: In one direction, biological systems can be used as models to inspire engineering innovation. The rationale behind this connection is to let engineering take advantage of billions of years of biological evolution to find solutions to complex, multi-dimensional problems. In the other direction, engineering methods can be applied to analyzing and manipulating biological systems. A particularly important example of this direction can be found in biomedical engineering, where engineering methods are being used to diagnose and treat disease.
Research in the micro and nano area focuses on the properties of structures, surfaces, and transport phenomena at these very small scales. Some of this research looks across different scales to consider the nano as well as the micro scale.
Example applications of this research can be found in areas such as fuel cells, where micro and nano structures can be used to increase the area of electrodes. Nano-scale structures can also be used to control energy transport, e.g. for thermal management electronics components.
Understanding the principles of fluid motion on micro- and nano scales, can have an impact on applications in areas such as electrochemistry, biochemistry, and biomedicine. Since biological systems heavily rely on all size scales from single molecules to entire ecosystems to achieve their functions, there is a strong link between the study of biological systems and micro- and nano scale structures or processes.
The members of the BMNS Thrust Area will seek to exploit these relationships to create new interdisciplinary synergies for the development of novel technologies.