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Ming Guo

Contact Info

room 3-455C

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 2014


  • 2012


  • 2007


  • 2004



Research Interests

Cell Mechanics
Soft Matter Physics
Non-equilibrium physics of cytoplasm
Physics of Cancer
Mechanics in Development
Cell Volume and Molecular Crowding
Controlled Stem Cell Differentiation/Dedifferentiation
Plant Biomechanics



My laboratory works on the interface of mechanics, physics, and cell biology, seeks to understand how physical properties and biological function affect each other in cellular systems, and how physical laws govern the behavior of living cells and their abilities to deform, move, and remodel. These basic mechanical processes underlie a range of higher level phenomena in health and disease including many aspects of cancer, cardiovascular disease, malaria, and morphogenesis. We have developed and applied to numerous cell types novel techniques for measuring mechanical properties and cellular forces, both inside and outside of the cell, such as force spectrum microscopy and microrheology, and have used those methods to discover activity driven random transport in cells, the key role of vimentin intermediate filament in cytoplasmic mechanics and transport, as well as the nature of cell volume regulation and its impact on cell mechanics and stem cell differentiation. With an mixed background, I plan to gather an interdisciplinary team of engineers, biologists, and physicists to understand physical properties of the living cell and their impact in health and disease.

Honors + Awards

01/2016, d’Arbeloff Career Development Chair


American Physical Society, Biophysical Society, American Society of Cell Biology

MIT Service

2015-present, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering Department, MIT

2015-present, Graduate Admission Committee, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT


2014 fall, "Biological Instrumentation and Measurement" (20.309), guest lecturer
2015 fall, "Measurement and Instrumentation" (2.671)
2016 spring, "Measurement and Instrumentation" (2.671)


A.J. Ehrlicher, R. Krishnan, M. Guo, C. Bidan, D.A. Weitz, M.R. Pollak, Alpha actinin binding kinetics modulate cellular mechanics and force generation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112: 6619–6624 (2015).
E. Fodor*, M. Guo*, N.S. Gov, P. Visco, D.A. Weitz, F. van Wijland, Activity driven fluctuations in living cells. Europhysics Letters. 110: 48005 (2015).
M. Guo, A.J. Ehrlicher, M.H. Jensen, M. Renz, J.R. Moore, R.D. Goldman, J. Lippincott-Schwartz, F.C. Mackintosh, D.A. Weitz, Probing the Stochastic, Motor-Driven Properties of the Cytoplasm Using Force Spectrum Microscopy, Cell 158, 822–832 (2014). 
M. Röding, M. Guo, D.A. Weitz, M. Rudemo, A. Särkkä, Identifying directional persistence in intracellular particle motion using Hidden Markov Models, Mathematical Biosciences 248, 140–145 (2014).
M. Guo, A.J. Ehrlicher, S. Mahammad, H. Fabich, M.H. Jensen, J.R. Moore, J.J. Fredberg, R.D. Goldman, D.A. Weitz. The role of vimentin intermediate filaments in cortical and cytoplasmic mechanics. Biophysical journal 105: 1562–1568 (2013). 
S. Zhou, J. Fan, S.S. Datta, M. Guo, X. Guo, D.A. Weitz, Thermally switched release from nanoparticle colloidosomes, Advanced Functional Materials 23: 5925–5929 (2013).
H. Chen, Y. Zhao, J. Li, M. Guo, J. Wan, D.A. Weitz, H.A. Stone, Reactions in double emulsions by flow-controlled coalescence of encapsulated drops. Lab on a Chip, 11, 2312–2315 (2011).