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

Office: JSCBB D218


PhD, Duke University, Biomedical Engineering (2016)
BS, University of Virginia, Biomedical Engineering (2011)


  • Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2023)
  • Frontiers of Engineering Participant, National Academy of Engineering (2023)
  • Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering (2022)
  • NIH Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) (2022)
  • Pew Biomedical Scholar (2022)
  • ONR Young Investigator Program Award (2022)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2022)
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award Finalist (2021)
  • Best On-Demand Talk from the Controlled Release Society (2020)
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Duke University (2016)
  • Exceptional Student Award, ISAC at CYTO (2015)
  • NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (2014)
  • Exceptional Student Award, ISAC at CYTO (2013)
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2012)

Selected Publications

  • Lee, JG;* Thome, CP;* Cruse, ZA; Ganguly, A; Gupta, A; Shields IV, CW. “Magnetically locked Janus particle clusters with orientation-dependent motion in AC electric fields” Nanoscale 2023. 40(15): 16268–16276. (*co-first authors). DOI: 10.1039/D3NR03744D
  • Lee, JG;* Raj, RR;* Day, NB;* Shields IV, CW. “Microrobots for biomedicine: Unsolved challenges and opportunities for translation” ACS Nano 2023. 17(15): 14196–14204. (*co-first authors). DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.3c03723
  • Shields IV, CW. “Biohybrid microrobots for enhancing adoptive cell transfers” Accounts of Materials Research2023. 4(7): 566–569. DOI: 10.1021/accountsmr.3c00061
  • Lee, JG; Raj, RR; Thome, CP; Day, NB; Martinez, P; Bottenus, N; Gupta, A; Shields IV, CW. “Bubble-based microrobots with rapid circular motions for epithelial pinning and drug delivery” Small 2023. 19(32): 2300409. DOI: 10.1002/smll.202300409
  • Thome, CP; Hoertdoerfer, WS; Bendorf, J; Lee, JG; Shields IV, CW. “Electrokinetic active particles for motion-based biomolecule detection” Nano Letters 2023. 23(6): 2379–2387. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.3c00319
  • Day, NB; Dalhuisen, R; Loomis, NE; Adzema, SG; Prakash, J; Shields IV, CW. “Tissue-adhesive hydrogel for multimodal drug release to immune cells in skin” Acta Biomaterialia 2022. 150: 211–220. DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2022.07.053.
  • Tanjeem, N; Minnis, MB; Hayward, RC; Shields IV, CW. “Shape-changing particles: From materials design and mechanisms to implementation” Advanced Materials 2022. 3(34): 2105758. DOI: 10.1002/adma.202105758.
  • Day, NB; Wixson, WC; Shields IV, CW. “Magnetic systems for cancer immunotherapy” Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B 2021. 11(8): 2172–2196. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsb.2021.03.023
  • 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
  • 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.

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.