Susan J. Muller


(510) 642-4525
201F Gilman Hall
Professor of the Graduate School
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rheology and fluid mechanics of complex fluids

Flow of Biological Fluids in Micro-Fluidic Devices:
Microfabrication processes enable the design and manufacture of systems on the microscale. Such microsystems are capable of processing and analyzing biochemical samples and offer multiple advantages compared to conventional systems and protocols. Scaling down the system and increasing the number of samples processed per chip would result in heightened efficiency and reduced cost. The realization of these benefits, however, requires understanding fundamental physical principles on this scale.

Genetic Engineering of Protein Polymers:
The goal of this research is the development of a simple but widely applicable method for making novel protein polymers and evaluating their structure-property relationships. A series of DNA "monomers," encoding 12-20 amino acids, were designed to construct amphipathic multi-block copolymers consisting of a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic amino acid. Depending on the choice of DNA monomers and the relative mole fractions used in constructing the gene, the average composition, amino acid segment length, and disorder of the sequence can be varied. These parameters have proven to be important design variables in controlling polymer mechanical properties, thermal transitions, chain conformations, and interactions with surfaces and solvents.

Finite Element Modeling of Bubbles in Yield Stress Fluids and Taylor-Couette Instabilities