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Superfine, Richard
Taylor-Williams Distinguished Professor


Office: 345 Chapman Hall
Phone: (919) 962-1185
Web page:


Lehigh University, BS Engineering Physics ’82

UC Berkeley, PhD Physics ’91


Physics of biology focusing on how forces are generated and sensed in living systems, from single molecules to tissues. My work pursues an understanding of how cells sense forces, especially in relation to cancer, of how the physics of mucus clearance allows the lung to stay sterile and how the physics of molecules and networks creates effective clots. I lead an NIH center that is highly collaborative, drawing on the fantastic intellectual talents of researchers at UNC and from across the country. We develop new instrumentation and methods, and new diagnostic technologies that we hope will help patients very soon through a new spin-out company, Rheomics, Inc.



Swaminathan, V., Mythreye, K., O’Brien, E. T., Berchuck, A., Blobe, G. C., & Superfine, R. Mechanical stiffness of cells dictates cytoskeleton dependent cancer cell invasion. Cancer Research 71(15) Aug. 1 (2011). PMID: 21642375
Evans*, Benjamin A., R. Superfine, Design Considerations for Magnetically Actuated Biomimetic Cilia, in Biomimetic Based Applications (Anne George, ed.)p. 473-498, Intech, 2011.
Evans*, Benjamin A., Briana L. Fiser†, Willem J. Prins, Daniel J. Rapp, Adam R. Shields‡, Daniel R. Glass, and R. Superfine†, A Highly Tunable Silicone-Based Magnetic Elastomer with Nanoscale Homogeneity, J. Mag. Mag Materials (2012, 324(4):501-507. PMC3241051).
Fronczek, D., C. Quammen, H. Wang, C. Kiser, R. Superfine, R. Taylor, D. A. Erie, I. Tessmer, High Accuracy FIONA-AFM Hybrid Imaging, Ultramicroscopy 111(5) p.350-355 (2011). PMID: 21329649
Guilluy, C., Swaminathan, V., O’Brien, E. T., Superfine, R., Burridge, K. The Rho GEFs LARG and GEF-H1 regulate the mechanical response to force on integrins. Nature Cell Biology 13(6)p.722-U211 (2011). PMID: 21572419, PMC3107386
Mair, L. O., Evans, B., Hall, A. R., Carpenter, J., Shields, Ford, K., A., Millard, M., & Superfine, R.,. Highly Controllable Near-Surface Swimming of Magnetic Janus Nanorods: Application to Payload Capture and Manipulation. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. 44(125001) (2011).
Houser, J. R., Hudson, N. E., Ping, L. F., O’Brien, E. T., Superfine, R., Lord, S. T., & Falvo, M. R. Evidence that αlpha C region is origin of low modulus, high extensibility, and strain stiffening in fibrin fibers. Biophysical Journal.99(9):3038-3047(2010).
Shields, A. R., Fiser, B. L., Evans, B.A., Falvo, M.R., Washburn, S., & Superfine, R. (2010). Biomimetic cilia arrays generate simultaneous pumping and mixing regimes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(36): 15670-15675. PMC2936597
Chehetri, R. K., Carpenter, J., Superfine, R., Randell, S. H., & Oldenburg, A. L. Magnetomotive optical coherence elastography for relating lung structure and function in cystic fibrosis. Proceedings of SPIE.7554. PMC Journal (In Process) (2010).
Nunes, J., K. Herlihy, L. Mair, R. Superfine, J. DeSimone “Multifunctional Shape and Size Specific Magneto-Polymer Composite Particles.” Nano Letters 10(4), 1113-1119, 2010. PMID: 20334397