Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems
Pratt School of Engineering
Duke University

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Benjamin B. Yellen, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems

Benjamin B. Yellen

The guiding principle of Dr. Yellen’s work is to investigate applications of electriciy and magnetism in medicine, energy, and the environment. One research focus is designing magnetic implants for drug delivery and medical imaging. Another research focus is developing nanoscale magnetic manipulation and tracking technology to observe the motion of colloidal particles immersed in ferrofluid (e.g., a suspension of 10nm iron oxide particles). A third research focus is the development of electrochemical apparatus to control local pH for various applications in bio-chemical array fabrication, electrolysis for generation of Hydrogen gas, and potentially other applications.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  3389 CIEMAS
Office Phone:  (919) 660-8261
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Spring 2017):

  • EGR 244L.002, DYNAMICS Synopsis
    Teer 203, WF 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
  • EGR 244L.02L, DYNAMICS Synopsis
    Hudson 201, Th 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
  • EGR 244L.04L, DYNAMICS Synopsis
    FITZPATRK 1466, Th 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
  • EGR 244L.06L, DYNAMICS Synopsis
    Hudson 201, F 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
  • EGR 244L.08L, DYNAMICS Synopsis
    Hudson 224, F 03:05 PM-04:20 PM
  • EGR 244L.10L, DYNAMICS Synopsis
    Hudson 224, F 04:40 PM-05:55 PM

PhDDrexel University2004
BSEmory University1998

Micro-electronic mechanical machines
Nanomaterial manufacturing and characterization
Nonlinear Dynamics
Computational Electromagnetics
Soft materials
Biological Materials
Active materials
Heat and mass transfer
Drug Delivery
Research Interests:

Our group currently has two main research activities. Project #1. Development of single cell random access memory. The goal of this project is to develop an automated system for reading and writing single cells (e.g., immune cells, yeast cells, etc.) to arbitrary sites on a micro fabricated chip. We then plan to query the behavior of single cells in response to pharmaceutical compounds and their interactions with other single cells. Finally, we are developing automated tools to extract single cells from the array for follow on gene analysis. Project #2. Phase transformations and dynamics in colloidal systems. The goal of this project is to study ensemble behavior in dense suspensions of magnetic colloidal particles. In particular, we are interested in studying phase transformations in alloys of magnetic and non-magnetic particles immersed in a ferrofluid. We are also interested in domain growth, and far from equilibrium behavior.


ferrofluid • single cell • controls • nonlinear dynamics • electromagnetics • magnetic materials • microfabrication • colloids

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students  

  • Hui S Son  
  • Randall M Erb  
Postdocs Mentored

  • Robert Ducker (April 01, 2007 - present)  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. B.B. Yellen, R. M. Erb, H. S. Son, R. Hewlin, Jr., H. Shang, G. U. Lee, Traveling Wave Magnetophoresis for High Resolution Chip Based Separations, Lab on a Chip, vol. in press (December, 2007)
  2. Erb, R.M. and Yellen, B.B., Model of detecting nonmagnetic cavities in ferrofluid for biological sensing applications, IEEE Trans. Magn. (USA), vol. 42 no. 10 (2006), pp. 3554 - 6 [TMAG.2006.879614]  [abs]
  3. Yellen, Benjamin B. and Erb, Randall M. and Halverson, Derek S. and Hovorka, Ondrej and Friedman, Gary, Arraying nonmagnetic colloids by magnetic nanoparticle assemblers, IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 42 no. 10 (2006), pp. 3548 - 3553 [TMAG.2006.879623]  [abs]
  4. Yellen, Benjamin B. and Forbes, Zachary G. and Halverson, Derek S. and Fridman, Gregory and Barbee, Kenneth A. and Chorny, Michael and Levy, Robert and Friedman, Gary, Targeted drug delivery to magnetic implants for therapeutic applications, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, vol. 293 no. 1 (2005), pp. 647 - 654 [083]  [abs]
  5. Yellen, B.B. and Hovorka, O. and Friedman, G., Arranging matter by magnetic nanoparticle assemblers, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (USA), vol. 102 no. 25 (2005), pp. 8860 - 4 [pnas.0500409102]  [abs]
  6. Yellen, Benjamin B. and Friedman, Gary, Programmable assembly of heterogeneous colloidal particle arrays, Advanced Materials, vol. 16 no. 2 (2004), pp. 111 - 115 [adma.200305603]  [abs]
  7. Yellen, B.B. and Fridman, G. and Friedman, G., Ferrofluid lithography, Nanotechnology, vol. 15 no. 10 (2004), pp. 562-565 - [011]  [abs]
  8. Yellen, Benjamin B. and Friedman, Gary, Programmable assembly of colloidal particles using magnetic microwell templates, Langmuir, vol. 20 no. 7 (2004), pp. 2553 - 2559 [la0352016]  [abs]
  9. Forbes, Zachary G. and Yellen, Benjamin B. and Barbee, Kenneth A. and Friedman, Gary, An Approach to Targeted Drug Delivery Based on Uniform Magnetic Fields, IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 39 no. 5 II (2003), pp. 3372 - 3377 [TMAG.2003.816260]  [abs]

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