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Contact Info:
Advanced Technology Lab
Tufts University
200 Boston Ave.
Suite 2600
Medford, MA 02155

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Anthony Scibelli
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Biology

Bio
I received my undergraduate degree from Western New England University in Neuroscience. My research experience began by examining the physiological rundown of muscle force production in larval body wall muscles over time. During a trip to the Marine Research Center at MBL, I first conceptualized a new type of tactile sensor technology based on the complex interwoven matrix of chromatophore muscles in the skin of Longfin Inshore squid. This was developed into my senior thesis project and functional prototype, A scalable, high resolution, multi-dimensional strain sensor matrix (Patent #:US9250146B2).

Research

Body wall vibration characterization:
The ability to of many organisms to locomote efficiently depends upon detecting key features in the environment. While the physiology and gait behavior of Manduca sexta is well known, what information is encoded from cuticle sensory cells has not been documented. One of my ongoing projects has been to describe the mechanosensory information encoded within the cuticle during body deformation and substrate vibration.

Intact animal morphology:
Traditionally, capturing the muscle and cuticle morphology of Manduca sexta requires flattening three-dimensional tissue structures which causes considerable distortion and damage. Collaborating with researchers in Japan, we scanned intact animals using x-ray microtomography, creating a 3D model of larvae tissues.

SquMA Bot, Squishable motor actuated robot:
I also am continuing to develop bio-inspired projects based on Manduca sexta with our foam bodied robots driven by a motor tendon system. Moving on from our first prototype developed in 2016, SquMA Bot, a second generation focuses on reducing fabrication and control complexity as well as implementing a more biological tendon attachment and sensory feedback.