The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Jae-Hwang Lee

Assistant Professor

Mechanical properties of individual cells are determined by a specific composition and an arrangement of sub-cellular organelles. Since cells can be viewed as heterogeneous polymeric materials exhibiting strain-rate dependent mechanical properties, we are interested in cells’ nonlinear mechanical responses in high-strain-rate regimes and the development of high-strain-rate biomechanical characterization methods.

Current Research
In order to apply HSR mechanical stimuli to a single cell, we are trying to employ a recently developed micro-ballistics technique that can produce a high-speed collision of a single micro-particle to a target specimen. Utilizing extreme mechanical stimuli from the microscopic collision, we are trying to differentiate any subtle difference in the intrinsic mechanical properties of individual cancer cells.

Learn more at

Academic Background

  • BS Physics, Dankook University, South Korea, 1994
  • MS Physics, Dankook University, South Korea, 1996
  • PhD Condensed Matter Physics, Iowa State University, 2006
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Ames Laboratory-USDOE, 2006-207
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Materials Science & Engineering, MIT 2007-2011
  • Research Scientist, Rice University, 2011-2014
W. Xie, R. Zhang, R.J. Headrick, L. Taylor, S.E. Kooi, M. Pasquali, S. Muftu, J.-H. Lee, “Dynamic strengthening of carbon nanotube fibers under extreme mechanical impulse”, Nano Letters 19, 3519 (2019).
E.P. Chan, W. Xie, S.V. Orski, J.-H. Lee, C.L. Soles, “Entanglement density-dependent energy absorption of polycarbonate films via supersonic fracture” ACS Macro Letters 8, 806 (2019).
W. Xie, S. Tadepalli, S.H. Park, A. Kazemi-Moridani, Q. Jiang, S. Singamaneni, J.-H. Lee, “Extreme mechanical behavior of nacre-mimetic graphene-oxide and silk nanocomposites” Nano Letters 18, 987 (2018).
W. Xie, A. Alizadeh-Dehkharghani, Q. Chen, V.K. Champagne, X. Wang, A.T. Nardi, S. Kooi, S. Müftü, J.-H. Lee, “Dynamics and extreme plasticity of metallic microparticles in supersonic collisions” Scientific Reports 7, 5073 (2017).
D.-P. Song, C. Li, N.S. Colella, W. Xie, S. Li, X. Lu, S. Gido, J.-H. Lee, J.J. Watkins, “Large-volume self-organization of polymer/nanoparticle hybrids with millimeter-scale grain sizes using brush block copolymers” Journal of the American Chemical Society 137, 12510 (2015).
J.-H. Lee, P.E. Loya, J. Lou, E.L. Thomas, “Dynamic mechanical behavior of multilayer graphene via supersonic projectile penetration” Science 346, 1092 (2014).
Contact Info

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
ELab 313
160 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 546-0667