Manuel Ahumada


Faculty Mentor: Timothy Lu

Direct Supervisor: Chao Zhong

Home University: San Jose State University

Major: Mechanical Engineering



I am from the San Francisco bay area, particularly San Jose, CA. I am a senior studying Mechanical Engineering at San Jose State University. My interests are in the design and control of robotic and mechatronic systems. My undergraduate research focuses on the development of e-paper displays that could be used in commercial devices such as e-readers. At MIT, my summer project focuses on the material and mechanical characterization of bio-inspired adhesives. My ultimate goal is to obtain a Ph.D in mechanical engineering, and use my skills to help push technology forward. My hobbies focus around spending time with family and friends.


Material and mechanical characterization of a reverse bio-inspired fibrous nanomaterial

Amyloid or amyloid-like fibrils represent a general class of nanomaterials that can be formed from many different peptides and proteins. The amyloid structures exploited for functional purposes by organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals are of particular interest because of their potential as building blocks in bionanotechnology and as bionanomaterials for biomedical applications. Here, we demonstrate functional adhesive fibrous materials as next-generation medical adhesives by incorporating adhesive functions into a natural occurring amyloid forming subunit, CsgA, derived from E. coli Biofilms. This adhesive will be characterized in terms of its morphology and structure via means of ThT assays and SDS/Page western blots. The material and mechanical properties will be evaluated via means of TEM and AFM microscopy.