Faculty & Research

Howard A. Stone

Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Chair

Howard Stone

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D328 Engineering Quad
locationD326 Engineering Quad
Phone (609) 258-9493
Phone Lab (609) 258-9015

Research Focus

My group does research in fluid dynamics of "complex fluids", which refers to fluid systems that contain suspended objects (e.g. cells, droplets) that modify the flow. We interact broadly with other researchers in engineering, physics, chemistry and biology. In recent years my group has worked on several problems involving (I) flow and bacteria and (II) flow and biofilms, as well as various problems involving (III)  flow of red bloods cells and (IV) some problems involving chemical signaling of mammalian cells. As part of these studies we have developed expertise with these systems and have forged excellent collaborations with leading labs in molecular biology. For example, in our research we have documented the formation of biofilm streamers in laminar flows, identified shear-enhanced adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) to surfaces, and the upstream migration of PA when the bacteria is attached to surfaces and exposed to flow. We have also worked on a variety of problems involving mammalian cells, including their response to chemical signals and how the response is influenced by the mechanical properties of the surrounding materials and/or substrate. In all of these studies we have used the toolboxes of microfluidics and microscopy to develop experimental tools appropriate to the questions under study.

Selected Publications

Persat A, Stone HA, Gitai Z. (2014) The curved shape of Caulobacter crescentus enhances surface colonization. Nat Commun. 5:3824. Selected for Nature Communications Biology Selections. Pubmed

Kim MY, Drescher K, Pak OS, Bassler B, Stone HA. (2014) Filaments in curved flow: Rapid formation of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm streamers. New J Phys. 16: 065024.

Drescher K, Shen Y, Bassler BL, Stone HA. (2013) Biofilm streamers cause catastrophic disruption of flow with consequences for environmental and medical systems. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 110: 4345-4350. Highlighted in the issue and on the NSF website. Pubmed

Subramaniam AB, Guidotti G, Manoharan VN, Stone HA. (2012) Glycans pattern the phase behavior of lipid membranes. Nat Mater. 12: 128-133. Pubmed

Sun B, Lembong J, Normand V, Rogers M, Stone HA. (2012) Spatial-temporal dynamics of collective chemosensing. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 109: 7753-7758. Pubmed

Shen Y, Siryaporn A, Lecuyer S, Gitai Z, Stone HA. (2012) Flow directs surface-attached bacteria to twitch upstream. Biophys J. 103: 146-151. Pubmed

Lecuyer S, Rusconi R, Shen Y, Forsyth A, Vlamakis H, Kolter R, Stone HA. (2011) Shear stress increases the residence time of adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Biophys J. 100: 341-350; corrigendum 100: 1381. Pubmed

Rusconi R, Lecuyer S, Guglielmini L, Stone HA. (2010) Laminar flow around corners triggers the formation of bacterial streamers. J R Soc Interface. 7: 1293-9. Pubmed


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