Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Classification for the flow defects in metallic glass materials;
Molecular Dynamics Simulation for the Nano-indentation of Al-Mg alloy;
Spherical Harmonics Approach of the spherical elasticity problem;

All Publications

  • Microparticle traction force microscopy reveals subcellular force exertion patterns in immune cell-target interactions. Nature communications Vorselen, D. n., Wang, Y. n., de Jesus, M. M., Shah, P. K., Footer, M. J., Huse, M. n., Cai, W. n., Theriot, J. A. 2020; 11 (1): 20


    Force exertion is an integral part of cellular behavior. Traction force microscopy (TFM) has been instrumental for studying such forces, providing spatial force measurements at subcellular resolution. However, the applications of classical TFM are restricted by the typical planar geometry. Here, we develop a particle-based force sensing strategy for studying cellular interactions. We establish a straightforward batch approach for synthesizing uniform, deformable and tuneable hydrogel particles, which can also be easily derivatized. The 3D shape of such particles can be resolved with superresolution (<50 nm) accuracy using conventional confocal microscopy. We introduce a reference-free computational method allowing inference of traction forces with high sensitivity directly from the particle shape. We illustrate the potential of this approach by revealing subcellular force patterns throughout phagocytic engulfment and force dynamics in the cytotoxic T-cell immunological synapse. This strategy can readily be adapted for studying cellular forces in a wide range of applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-13804-z

    View details for PubMedID 31911639

  • Spherical harmonics method for computing the image stress due to a spherical void JOURNAL OF THE MECHANICS AND PHYSICS OF SOLIDS Wang, Y., Zhang, X., Cai, W. 2019; 126: 151–67
  • Strengthening Mechanism of a Single Precipitate in a Metallic Nanocube NANO LETTERS Kiani, M. T., Wang, Y., Bertin, N., Cai, W., Gu, X. 2019; 19 (1): 255–60


    Nano-precipitates play a significant role in the strength, ductility and damage tolerance of metallic alloys through their interaction with crystalline defects, especially dislocations. However, the difficulty of observing the action of individual precipitates during plastic deformation has made it challenging to conclusively determine the mechanisms of the precipitate-defect interaction for a given alloy system, and presents a major bottleneck in the rational design of nanostructured alloys. Here we demonstrate the in situ compression of core-shell nanocubes as a promising platform to determine the precise role of individual precipitates. Each nanocube with a dimension of ~85 nm contains a single spherical precipitate of ~25 nm diameter. The Au-core/Ag-shell nanocubes show a yield strength of 495 MPa with no strain hardening. The deformation mechanism is determined to be surface nucleation of dislocations which easily traverses through the coherent Au-Ag interface. On the other hand, the Au-core/Cu-shell nanocubes show a yield strength of 829 MPa with a pronounced strain hardening rate. Molecular dynamics and dislocation dynamics simulations, in conjunction with TEM analysis, have demonstrated the yield mechanism to be the motion of threading dislocations extending from the semi-coherent Au-Cu interface to the surface, and strain hardening to be caused by a single-armed Orowan looping mechanism. Nanocube compression offers an exciting opportunity to directly compare computational models of defect dynamics with in situ deformation measurements to elucidate the precise mechanisms of precipitate hardening.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b03857

    View details for Web of Science ID 000455561300032

    View details for PubMedID 30525680