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Leon M. Bellan

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering


Materials with micro- or nanofabricated features can respond in intelligent ways to external stimuli and can serve to mimic living systems. However, the vast majority of techniques used to produce such materials are either derived from the semiconductor industry or are based on rapid prototyping approaches, hindering the development and widespread use of patterned smart materials. Because these conventional techniques were developed to fabricate devices, they are not necessarily well suited to produce materials. Devices typically require precise placement of functional elements and do not necessarily extend significantly in all three dimensions, whereas materials (which often must have significant extent in all three dimensions) often depend more on feature density and patterns, and not necessarily perfectly reproduced structures. A major focus of our lab is to develop non-traditional fabrication techniques that are well-suited to producing such microfluidic materials.


NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, 2011-present
NIH F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Fellowship, 2010-2011

Selected Publications:

A 3D Interconnected Microchannel Network Formed in Gelatin by Sacrificial Shellac Microfibers. Bellan, LM; Pearsall, M; Cropek, DM; Langer, R, ADVANCED MATERIALS, 24, 5187-5191 , (2012) View Abstract

Fabrication of an artificial 3-dimensional vascular network using sacrificial sugar structures. Bellan, LM; Singh, SP; Henderson, PW; Porri, TJ; Craighead, HG; Spector, JA, SOFT MATTER, 5, 1354-1357 , (2009) View Abstract

Molecular orientation in individual electrospun nanofibers measured via polarized Raman spectroscopy. Bellan, LM; Craighead, HG, POLYMER, 49, 3125-3129 , (2008) View Abstract

Nanochannels fabricated in polydimethylsiloxane using sacrificial electrospun polyethylene oxide nanofibers. Bellan, LM; Strychalski, EA; Craighead, HG, JOURNAL OF VACUUM SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY B, 26, 1728-1731 , (2008) View Abstract

Individually resolved DNA molecules stretched and embedded in electrospun polymer nanofibers. Bellan, LM; Cross, JD; Strychalski, EA; Moran-Mirabal, J; Craighead, HG, NANO LETTERS, 6, 2526-2530 , (2006) View Abstract