Wyatt Shields
Assistant Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering • Biomedical Engineering Program

Office: JSCBB D218


Ph.D., Duke University, Biomedical Engineering (2016)
B.S., University of Virginia, Biomedical Engineering (2011)


  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Duke University, 2016
  • Exceptional Student Award by the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry, 2013 & 2015
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2012-2015

Selected Publications

  • Shields IV, CW; Evans, MA; Wang, LLW; Baugh, N; Iyer, S; Wu, D; Zhao, Z; Pusuluri, A; Ukidve, U; Pan, D; Mitragotri, S. “Cellular backpacks for macrophage immunotherapy” Science Advances 2020. 6(18): eaaz6579. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz6579.
  • Shields IV, CW; Kim, YK; Han, K; Murphy, AC; Scott, AJ; Abbot, NL; Velev, OD. “Control of the folding dynamics of self-reconfiguring magnetic microbots by using liquid crystallinity” Advanced Intelligent Systems 2020. 2(2): 1900114. DOI: 10.1002/aisy.201900114. *Editor’s Choice
  • Evans, MA; Shields IV, CW; Krishnan, K; Wang, LW; Zhao, Z; Ukidve, A; Lewandowski, M; Gao, Y; Mitragotri, S. “Macrophage‐mediated delivery of hypoxia‐activated prodrug nanoparticles” Advanced Therapeutics 2020. 3(2): 1900162. DOI: 10.1002/adtp.201900162.
  • Shields IV, CW; Han, K; Ma, F; Miloh, T; Yossifon, G; Velev, OD. “Supercolloidal spinners: Complex active particles for electrically powered and switchable rotation” Advanced Functional Materials 2018. 28(35): 1803465. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201803465.
  • Ohiri, U; Shields IV, CW; Han, K; Tyler, T; Velev, OD; Jokerst, N. “Reconfigurable engineered motile semiconductor microparticles” Nature Communications 2018. 9(1): 1791. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04183-y.
  • Shields IV, CW; White, JP; Osta, EG; Patel, J; Rajkumar, S; Kirby, N; Therrien, JP; Zauscher, S. “Encapsulation and controlled release of retinol from silicone particles for topical delivery” Journal of Controlled Release 2018. 278: 37-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2018.03.023.
  • Han, K; Shields IV, CW; Diwakar, NM; Bharti, B; López, GP; Velev, OD. “Sequence-encoded colloidal origami and microbot assemblies from patchy magnetic cubes” Science Advances 2017. 3(8). e1701108. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701108.
  • Shields IV, CW; Wang, JL; Ohiri, KA; Essoyan, ED; Yellen, BB; Armstrong, AJ; López, GP. “Microfluidic device for separating cancer cells from whole blood: acoustically enhanced magnetic sorting and single cell templating” Lab on a Chip 2016. 16(19): 3833-3844. DOI: 10.1039/c6lc00719h.

Research Interests

Drug Delivery, Biosensing, Active Matter, Soft Materials, Colloid and Interface Science, Microfluidics

Our group is broadly interested in biosensing and drug delivery. The distinguishing approach we take is through engineering particle systems, especially those that interface with biology and controllably respond to external stimuli. We work at the intersection of materials, soft matter physics and bioengineering to rationally design colloidal and supracolloidal particles for a range of applications. We take inspiration from nature, which efficiently assembles matter across length scales that encode a rich variety of behaviors when stimulated by energy. We have three guiding objectives, to: 1) understand how particles interact in and out of equilibrium and, in turn, how to control their behaviors by tailoring their nano and microscale properties such as shape, size and composition; 2) apply new insights to create collections of "smart" particles that perform useful tasks such as actuate and release encapsulated payloads; and 3) integrate our pipeline of new materials to advance biosensing and drug delivery by developing new diagnostic and therapeutic platforms for a variety of indications.