News: Theory and Computation

Our COVID vaccines would not exist without this unsung Princeton technology
For 20 years, researchers in Robert Prud’homme’s lab have fine-tuned a technology that has revolutionized drug manufacturing, enabling everything from mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines to malaria drugs. The life-saving molecules that treat those diseases are fragile, and they must survive an epic voyage from a lab bench, through the supply chain, into a blood cell. Encapsulation gives them a secure vehicle and a final heading. It’s a delicate craft backed by complex mathematics, and over the arc of his career, Prud’homme has become a master craftsman.
Innovation funds support advances in human health, plant microbiomes and materials science
This year’s engineering school Innovation Research Grants are funding efforts to improve plant growth and productivity, better understand bacterial resistance, and create a safe, long-lasting fire-retardant spray.
Researchers grow hair with this clever physics trick
A team of Princeton researchers found they could coat a liquid elastic on the outside of a disc and spin it to form useful, complex patterns. When spun just right, tiny spindles rise from the material as it cures. The spindles grow as the disc accelerates, forming a soft solid that resembles hairs.