Dr. Zhengwei Li is an Assistant Professor and Presidential Frontier Faculty Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine at the University of Houston.
Prior to joining UH in Fall 2022, Dr. Li was a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof. John A. Rogers at the Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics at Northwestern University. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship for the development of biohybrid robotics from the NSF Science and Technology Center-EBICS at UIUC. Dr. Li received his doctorate in mechanical engineering (with the highest honor) in 2017 from the University of Colorado Boulder. He earned his master’s degree from Zhejiang University and bachelor’s degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, both in China.
His research interests focus on the interface between human and machines to create novel materials, devices, and robotics for a wide range of healthcare and biomedical applications. The current research topics include Curvy wearable electronics, biohybrid living robotics (‘Bio-bots’), biomedical devices and instrumentations, bioelectronics neural interfaces, bioinspired & biohybrid systems, etc. His work has been published in numerous prestigious journals, including PNAS, Science Robotics, Nature Electronics, Science Advances, Nature Communications, Nature Protocols, Advanced Materials, Biomaterials, Biofabrication, Advanced Optical Materials, Scientific Reports, Nanotechnology, etc.
The Li Research Group (Biohybrid Engineering, Science and Technology [BEST] lab) works on the interface between human and machines to create novel devices and technologies for addressing grand challenges related to healthcare and biomedicine. We carry out the interdisplinary research through the combined efforts in biofabrication techniques, bioelectronics and sensors development, materials engineering, advanced manufacturing, and computational modeling. Specifically, the current research topics include
• 3D Curvy Wearable Electronics
• Biohybrid Living Robotics (‘Bio-bots’)
• Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation
• Biomaterials and tissue engineering
• Flexible Bioelectronic Neural Interfaces
- Y Kim#, Y Yang#, X Zhang#, Z Li#, A Vazquez-Guardado# , I Park, J Wang, AI Efimov, Z Dou, Y Wang, J Park, H Luan, X Ni, Y Kim, J Baek, J Park, Z Xie, H Zhao, M Gazzola, JA Rogers, R Bashir, Remote control of muscle driven miniature robots with battery-free wireless optoelectronics, Science Robotics, in press. (#These authors contributed equally to this work).
- Z Li, W Balance, M Joy, S Patel, H Kong, RD Kamm and MTA Saif. Adaptive biohybrid pumping machine with flow loop feedback, Biofabrication,14, 025009 (2022).
- Y Wang, Z Li, M EIhebeary, R Hensel, E Arzt, and MTA Saif. Water as a “GLUE”:elasticity-enhanced wet attachment of biomimetic microcup structure, Science Advances, 8, eabm9341 (2022).
- X Ni, H Luan, J Kim, S Rogge, Y Bai, J Kwak, S Liu, D Yang, S Li, Z Li, Y Zhang, C Wu, X Ni, Y Huang, H Wang, and JA Rogers. Soft, shape-programmable surfaces by fast, electromagnetic actuation of liquid metal networks, Nature Communications, 13, 5576 (2022).
- Y Yang, M Wu, A Wegener, A Vázquez-Guardado, A Efimov, F Lie, T Wang, Y Ma, A Banks, Z Li, Z Xie, Y Huang, C Good, Y Kozorovitskiy, JA Rogers. Preparation and use of wireless reprogrammable multilateral optogenetic devices for behavioral neuroscience, Nature Protocols, 17,1073-1096 (2022).
- E Ko, O Aydin, Z Li, L Grant, K Huang, MTA Saif, R Bashir, and H Kong. Empowering Engineered Muscle in Biohybrid Pump by Extending Connexin 43 Duration with Reduced Graphene Oxides, Biomaterials, 287, 121643 (2022).
- MA Emon, Z Li, U Doha, L Landehoff, and MTA Saif, A novel method for sensor-based quantification of single/multi-cellular traction dynamics and stiffnessing in 3D matrices, Science Advances, 7 (15), eabf2629 (2021).
- Z Rao†, Y Lu†, Z Li, K Sim, Z Ma, J Xiao and C Yu. Curvy, shape adaptive imager based on conformal additive stamp printed ultrathin optoelectronic pixels with kirigami designs, Nature Electronics, 4，513-521 (2021).
----- Reported by Mirage News, Science Daily, Tech Xplore, Nanowerk, YAHOO! finance, UH News, EurekAlert!, AZO Sensors, Mirage News, DesignNews, The Engineer, etc.
- H Luan, Q Zhang, T Liu, X Wang, S Zhao, H Wang, S Yao, Y Xue, J Kak, W Bai, Y Xu, M Han, K Li, Z Li, X Ni, J Ye, D Choi, Q Yang, JH Kim, S Li, C Wu, D Lu, J Chang, Z Xie, Y Huang, JA Rogers. Complex 3D microfluidic architectures formed by mechanically guided assembly as multifunctional, biomimetic vascular networks, Science Advances, 7, eabj3686 (2021).
- Z Li, A Tofangchi, R Stavins, E Bashar, RD McKinney, PJ Grippo and MTA Saif. A portable pen-sized instrumentation to measure stiffness of soft tissues in vivo, Scientific Reports, 11, 378 (2021).
- Z Li and MTA Saif. Mechanics of biohybrid valveless pump-bot, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 88, 111004 (2021).
- Z Li, Y Seo, O Aydin, M EIhebeary, RD Kamm, H Kong, and MTA Saif. Biohybrid valveless pump-bot powered by engineered skeletal muscle, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116, 1543-1548, (2019).
------ This paper was highlighted as “Editor’s Choice” in Science Translational Medicine, 2019 Jan 30;11(477):eaaw5317.
------ Reported by Muscle Cell News, ScienceVio, PNASNews, Sciencesansfrontier, Science Furs, Linguainfo Services, Parability, The Latest Science, Cardiovascular, BioPortfolio, etc.
- K Sim, S Chen, Z Li, Z Rao, J Liu, Y Lu, S Jang, F. Ershad, J Chen, J Xiao, and C Yu, Three-dimensional curvy electronics created using conformal additive stamp printing, Nature Electronics, 2, 471- 479, (2019).
------ This paper was highlighted in Nature
------ This paper was on the Cover of October, 2019 Issue of Nature Electronics
------ Reported by Science Daily, Tech Xplore, Nanowerk, PV Magazine, 7th Space Family Portal, UH News, EurekAlert!, Photonics Online, Mirage News, DesignNews, etc.
- Z Li, Y Zhai, Y Wang, G Wendland, X Yin, and J Xiao. Harnessing surface wrinkling-cracking patterns for tunable optical transmittance, Advanced Optical Materials, 5, 1700425, (2017).
- Z Li, X Meng, and J Xiao. Theoretical studies on lattice-oriented growth of single walled carbon nanotubes on sapphire, Nanotechnology, 28, 385601, (2017).
- Z Li, Y Wang, and J Xiao, Mechanics of bioinspired imaging systems, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters, 6, 11-20, (2016).
-----This paper was selected to win Theoretical & Applied Mechanics Letters "Best Paper Award”.
- Y Wang, Z Li, and J Xiao, Stretchable thin films materials: fabrication, application and mechanics. Journal of Electronic Packaging, 138, 020801 (2016).
- L Cox, J Killgore, Z Li, R Long, A Sanders, J Xiao, and Y Ding, Influences of substrate adhesion and particle size on the shape memory effect of polystyrene particles. Langmuir, 32, 3691-3698 (2016).
- Z Li, Y Wang, and J Xiao, Mechanics of curvilinear electronics and optoelectronics, Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science, 19, 171-189 (2015).
- Z Li, and J Xiao, Strain tunable optics of elastomeric microlens array, Extreme Mechanics Letters, 4, 118-123, (2015).
- Z Li, and J Xiao, Mechanics and optics of stretchable elastomeric microlens array for artificial compound eye camera, Journal of Applied Physics, 117, 014904 (2015).
- S Maruf, Z Li, J. Yoshimura, and J Xiao, A. Greenberg, and Y Ding, Influence of nanoimprint lithography on membrane structure and performance, Polymer, 69, 129-137 (2015).
- L Cox, Z Li, N Sowan, D Nair, J Xiao, CN Bowman, and Y Ding, Reconfigurable surface patterns on covalent adaptive network polymers using nanoimprint lithography, Polymer, 55, 5933-5937 (2014).
- D Kang†, S Lee†, Z Li, A Seyedi, J O'Brien, J Xiao, and J Yoon, Compliant, heterogeneously integrated GaAs micro‐VCSELs towards wearable and implantable integrated optoelectronics platforms, Advanced Optical Materials 2, 373-381 (2014).
- L Cox, J Killgore, Z Li, Z Zhang, DC Hurley, J Xiao, and Y Ding, Morphing metal–polymer janus particles, Advanced Materials, 26, 899-904 (2014).