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Shapiro, Benjamin

2246 Jeong H. Kim Building

Research Interests 

Intersection of control theory and miniaturized systems in modeling, design, and control of micro- and nano-scale systems for applications in electronics, biology, and clinical practice. Applications where control can dramatically improve or allow new system capabilities, with the goal of demonstrating the entire pathway from initial application choices, to system modeling, phrasing of application goals as tractable control problems, control algorithm development, and experimental validation. His group combines theory, numerics, and experiments.



Ben Shapiro is primarily intersted in research at the intersection of control theory and micro systems. His research group focuses on model based control design with validation via experiments. Roughly speaking, they do 50% modeling, 30% control design, and 20% fabrication and experiments.

Micro systems provide actuation and sensing capabilities on micrometer scales: a length that is commensurate with the size of micro-organisms and which allows direct access to biological phenomena. Control theory provides methods which allow intelligent fusion of sensor and actuator capabilities to perform complex tasks in the presence of noise and uncertainty. The marriage between the two areas is natural: micro-systems allow tremendous actuation and sensing capabilities but they have to deal with uncertain and largely unknown environments; control theory provides mathematical tools to design sensor/actuator combinations that will perform complex, coordinated tasks, but it requires novel hardware that can implement such decisions.

Current examples include modeling/control of devices with electrically actuated surface tension, modeling of component filling in micro-fluidic networks with thousands of components, modeling and optimization of micro conjugated polymer (conducting plastic) actuators, and steering control of single particles in micro-fluidic systems aimed at targeted cell positioning, cell sorting based on visual data, and directed cell-to-cell or cell-to-other collisions.

Honors and Awards 

Young faculty awards
NSF CAREER, "Feedback Control of Micro-Fluidic Packets and the Bio-Particles within Them," 2004

University of Maryland awards
Invention of the Year Award finalist for "Arbitrary and Simultaneous Control of Multiple Particles in Micro-Fluidic Systems," 2004

Related News 

UMD Celebrates Invention of Year Winners, Ventures, and Partnerships at 'Innovate Maryland'
An electric vehicle charger innovation takes home top honors for Invention of Year. April 17, 2018

Clark School Spinout Developing Pediatric Cancer Drug Delivery System to Prevent Hearing Loss from Chemotherapy
Otomagnetics Awarded $2.3 Million Fast Track NIH/NCI SBIR Contract October 19, 2017

BBI Holds 2017 Seed Grant Symposium
Over 115 people attend symposium featuring work and accomplishments of BBI Seed Grant Awardees for FY16/FY17. September 25, 2017

Article about Otomagnetics in Action on Hearing Loss newsletter
Magnetic injection work of Shapiro, Depireux is highlighted. November 14, 2016

Didier Depireux wins inaugural Provost's Excellence Award
The new award is given to professional track faculty for contributions in research, teaching or service. June 2, 2016

BBI Seed Grant winners announced
Five projects selected for inaugural round of funding. February 26, 2016

Shapiro wins NSF grant for magnetic focusing of magnetic particle therapies
Therapies will be developed to address inoperable deep tissue tumors. May 6, 2015

Shapiro to deliver semi-plenary address at American Control Conference
He will speak on 'Magnetic Control of Therapy to Hard-to-Reach Disease Targets.' December 19, 2014

Ben Shapiro shows pulsing magnetic fields could push drugs to deep targets
Magnetic particles may find an alternative to medical treatments. November 15, 2014

Waks, Shapiro receive NSF EAGER grant to test spintronic devices
Devices could one day measure action of individual neurons. September 3, 2014

Shapiro's Otomagnetics Recipient of BioMaryland Center Award
Otomagnetics receives a Biotechnology Development Award through the BioMaryland Center. March 14, 2014

Delivering Drugs to Inner Ear, Eyes, and Brain Made Easier with "Magnetic Syringe"
Clark School startup Otomagnetics wins AdvaMed's Rybski MedTech Award to support further development. October 9, 2013

Shapiro, Yu Win 2013 BioE Teaching, Graduate Research Awards
Honors presented at annual "Welcome Back" seminar. September 9, 2013

Shapiro, Martin awarded MPowering seed grant for novel study of cancer cells' 'microtentacles'
The researchers will use flow control to understand how microtentacles help cancer cells spread throughout the body. September 1, 2013

Shapiro is PI for NSF magnetic chemotherapy grant
The research aims to improve the delivery of chemotherapy drugs to target tumors. July 15, 2013

Ben Shapiro promoted to full professor
Research focuses on miniaturized-system control. May 13, 2013

Nacev, Chowdhury place in 2013 Dean's Doctoral Student Research Award competition
Students are advised by Ben Shapiro, S.K. Gupta. April 28, 2013

Two BioE/ISR Professors Receive Maryland Industrial Partnership Funding
Diagnostic anSERS and Cordex Systems primed for further development of sensors, device for detection of heart disease. February 26, 2013

UMD Researchers Achieve Breakthrough in Nanoprecision Imaging
Flow control of single quantum dot enables measurements with nanoscale accuracy at lower cost February 7, 2013

Shapiro, Depireux team for series of grants to combat hearing loss
Research will advance the delivery of drug therapies to the inner ear. January 17, 2013

Shapiro co-edits new book, Feedback Control of MEMS to Atoms
Book illustrates the use of control and control systems as an essential part of functioning integrated miniaturized systems. May 4, 2012

Shapiro, White receive inaugural innovation grants from UM-CERSI
Awards will support research on neonatal ventilator safety, new assay for viral diagnostics. April 6, 2012

Shapiro wins NSF grant for assembly of colloidal crystals
NSF-sponsored research could lead to technologies such as optical computing, energy harvesting, sub-diffraction limit imaging and invisibility cloaking. September 22, 2011

Six Clark School faculty become affiliates of ISR
ISR welcomes Desai, Humbert, Jacob, Paley, Qu and Smela. April 20, 2010

Cell-based sensors featured in The Scientist
Cross-disciplinary work of Abshire, Smela, Shapiro is highlighted. July 8, 2009

Shapiro, Smela are issued U.S. Patent 7,523,608
Clark School faculty members invent electrically driven microfluidic pumping for actuation. May 5, 2009

Shapiro receives Fulbright Scholar grant
Funding will aid research into magnetic chemotherapy delivery to deep tumors. March 18, 2009

REU students spending summer in research
The 12 undergraduate students are participating in NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. June 3, 2008

Clark School Researchers Collaborate on New Cell-Based Sensors
New bio-sensors could speed up and improve the detection of pathogens, explosives. May 6, 2008

Subrahmanian wins first ISR Faculty Venture Fair
Online opinion technology impresses venture capitalists at ISR Systems Symposium. April 20, 2008

Abshire, Shapiro, Smela part of biosensor grant
Researchers are partnering with IBI, graduate of university's TAP program. February 26, 2008

New Scientist highlights cell sensor research
Work of Shapiro, Abshire, Smela improves pathogen detection. November 27, 2007

A Magnetic System to Push Magnetic Carriers (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 24, 2007

Methods and Systems for Confining Drugs to a Region of the Body (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 23, 2007

Micro Fluidic Device that Allows 3 Dimensional Control of Nano and Micro Particles by Electroosmotic Flow (EOF) Actuation (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 23, 2007

Positioning Quantum Dots in Devices by Electroosmotic Feedback Control (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 23, 2007

Microfluidic System for Sample Preparation (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 23, 2007

Dynamic Manipulation of Magnetic Fields to Focus Particles/Drugs to Deep Tissue Targets (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 23, 2007

Nanoparticle Nucleation of Protein Crystal Growth (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 22, 2007

Feedback Control of Protein Crystal Growth (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 22, 2007

Micro-Array for Nucleotide Amplification with 2D Positional Information (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 22, 2007

Micro-Fluidic Pumping (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 22, 2007

Cell Canary (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 22, 2007

Arbitrary and Simultaneous Control of Multiple Particles in Micro-Fluidic Systems (ISR IP)
This IP is available to license. June 20, 2007

Shapiro, Barua, Ulukus and Wu receive tenure
Four ISR faculty promoted to associate professor rank March 16, 2006

University of Maryland ranked No. 1 in nano research and education
Trade publication Small Times cites many factors in ratings May 1, 2005

Abshire is PI for NSF grant on cell-based sensing
ECE/ISR assistant professor will research integrated transduction, actuation and control April 19, 2005

ISR faculty win two Invention of the Year awards
Faculty recognized in information science and physical science categories April 2, 2005

Shapiro organizes NSF micro/nano workshop
Program focuses on control and systems integration of micro- and nanoscale systems January 16, 2005

Rubloff leads new M-CINSE nanotech center
Sept 2004—Former ISR director to help the university contribute to cutting-edge nanoscience September 2, 2004

Shapiro and students finalists in Invention of the Year awards
May 2004—Team invented "Arbitrary and Simultaneous Control of Multiple Particles in Micro-Fluidic Systems." May 2, 2004

Gupta, Ghodssi, Shapiro part of $3 million micro air vehicles MURI
April 2004—ISR faculty will be working on "Micro Hovering Air Vehicles: Revolutionary Concepts and Navigation Advancements" April 11, 2004

NSF CAREER awards honor ISR faculty
Shapiro, Horiuchi, and Balara receive awards April 1, 2004

Gupta, Shapiro, and Goldsman associated with three MIPS awards
ISR faculty will be working with Automated Precision, Inc., Protiveris and TRX systems February 2, 2004

ISR welcomes Liu, Sandborn, Shapiro and Vorontsov to faculty
Four faculty members bring varied research interests to ISR. July 4, 2003