Researching Revolutionary Materials: Rae Anderson Awarded $576,000 NSF Grant

Inside USD -- Imagine a fabric that is comfortable for a soldier or police officer to wear but strong enough to protect against being shot. Or envision new implantable medicine pumps and hip prostheses that mimic both the mobility and strength of human muscles and bones.

Those products could someday become a reality through the work of researchers like University of San Diego assistant professor of physics Rae Anderson who has been awarded a $576,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study networks of biopolymers such as the protein actin which is ubiquitous in the cells of living organisms.

Anderson’s research will focus on measuring stresses and strains in biopolymer networks on the molecular level, something that has never been done before. Using a laser-based “tweezers technique” that she pioneered, Anderson will be exploring the mechanical behavior of these complex biopolymer networks. (Full Story)

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