Benjamin Yellen

Benjamin Yellen

Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Yellen's group is interested in developing highly parallel mechanisms for controlling the transport and assembly of ensembles of objects ranging from micron-sized colloidal particles to single cells.  As of 2013, Professor Yellen is active in two main areas of research:
1) Development of single cell analysis tools using magnetic circuits. The goal of this project is to develop an automated single cell analysis platform that allows for highly flexible and highly parallel manipulation of single cells. Our approach draws inspiration from electronic circuit theory through the development highly flexible methods for transporting particles above magnetic thin film patterns either reversibly (conductor) or irreversibly (rectifier), storing cells in well-defined regions of space either temporarily (capacitor) or permanently (data storage), switching current pathways at selected junctions (transistor) and coordinating a large set of electronic functions with few input wires (multiplexer). When combined with microfluidic systems that allow for repeated doses of pharmaceuticals, we will have a developed a platform that is ripe to have a major impact on the field of HIV eradication and cancer suppression.
2) Multiparticle assembly of colloidal crystals. The goal of this project is to understand the formation and phase transitions occuring inside single crystals composed of alloys of colloidal particles.  Here, we are interested in observing crystals forming from magnetic and non-magnetic colloidal particles dispersed inside ferrofluid.  We are just beginning to solve the questions of how to grow large single crystals, and how to transform these crystals by tilting of an external magnetic field.  The results of this project will serve as useful models for understanding how crystals form and transform in the corollary atomic scale materials in nature.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information

  • Office Location: CIEMAS 3389, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-8261
  • Email Address: yellen@duke.edu
  • Websites:

Education

  • Ph.D. Drexel University, 2004

Research Interests

Benjamin Yellen is interested in developing highly parallel mechanisms for controlling the transport and assembly of ensembles of objects ranging from micron-sized colloidal particles to single cells.

Courses Taught

  • EGR 244L: Dynamics
  • ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 517: Electromagnetic Processes in Fluids
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Abedini-Nassab, R; Joh, DY; Van Heest, M; Baker, C; Chilkoti, A; Murdoch, DM; Yellen, BB, Magnetophoretic Conductors and Diodes in a 3D Magnetic Field., Advanced Functional Materials, vol 26 no. 22 (2016), pp. 4026-4034 [abs].
  • Land, S; McGuire, P; Bumb, N; Mann, BP; Yellen, BB, Electromagnetic braking revisited with a magnetic point dipole model, American journal of physics, vol 84 no. 4 (2016), pp. 257-262 [10.1119/1.4941099] [abs].
  • Hu, X; Abedini-Nassab, R; Lim, B; Yang, Y; Howdyshell, M; Sooryakumar, R; Yellen, BB; Kim, C, Dynamic trajectory analysis of superparamagnetic beads driven by on-chip micromagnets, Journal of Applied Physics, vol 118 no. 20 (2015), pp. 203904-203904 [10.1063/1.4936219] [abs].
  • Abedini-Nassab, R; Joh, DY; Van Heest, MA; Yi, JS; Baker, C; Taherifard, Z; Margolis, DM; Garcia, JV; Chilkoti, A; Murdoch, DM; Yellen, BB, Characterizing the Switching Thresholds of Magnetophoretic Transistors., Advanced Materials, vol 27 no. 40 (2015), pp. 6176-6180 [10.1002/adma.201502352] [abs].
  • Yang, Y; Pham, AT; Cruz, D; Reyes, C; Wiley, BJ; Lopez, GP; Yellen, BB, Assembly of colloidal molecules, polymers, and crystals in acoustic and magnetic fields., Advanced Materials, vol 27 no. 32 (2015), pp. 4725-4731 [10.1002/adma.201500462] [abs].