• Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 2016
  • M.S., Yildiz Technical University, 2012
  • B.S., Yildiz Technical University, 2011


Dr. Alapan works at the interface of microtechnology, robotics and bioengineering, developing bioinspired and soft micro-robots/systems inspired by nature for healthcare applications. His current research focuses on development of microfabricated and bioengineered platforms for in vitro modeling immune cell-tissue interfaces and their deployment for cell engineering towards cancer therapy.


Dr. Alapan joined Georgia Tech in 2022 as a Research Engineer in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences. Prior to his current appointment, he worked as a Senior Healthcare System Design Engineer in Ankara, Turkey and Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart Germany. Dr. Alapan received his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University where his studies were focused on microfabricated systems for probing cells and molecules for diagnosis and monitoring of sickle cell disease.

Distinctions & Awards

  • Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2017
  • 1st place in Student Technology Prize for Primary Healthcare by Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation and Technology (CIMIT), 2015
  • Special Recognition Award, Case Western Reserve University, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, 2015
  • 1st place in Medical Category in NASA Tech Briefs Create the Future Design Contest, 2014

Representative Publications

  • Akolpoglu M. B.#, Alapan Y.#, Dogan N. O., Baltaci S., Yasa O., Tural G. A., Sitti M., Magnetically steerable bacterial microrobots moving in 3D biological matrices for stimuli-responsive cargo delivery, Science Advances, 2022, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abo616
  • Alapan Y., Thomas S. N., Mechanics drive lymph node expansion, Nature Immunology, 2022, doi: 10.1038/s41590-022-01277-0
  • Bozuyuk U. #, Alapan Y.#, Aghakhani A., Yunusa M., Sitti M., Shape anisotropy-governed locomotion of surface microrollers on vessel-like microtopographies against physiological flows, PNAS, 2021, doi: 10.1073/pnas.2022090118
  • Alapan Y.#, Karacakol A.#, Guzelhan S. N., Isik I., Sitti M., Reprogrammable shape morphing of magnetic soft machines, Science Advances, 2020, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abc6414
  • Alapan Y.#, Bozuyuk U.#, Erkoc P., Karacakol A., Sitti M., Multifunctional microrollers for targeted cargo delivery in blood flow, Science Robotics, 2020, doi: 10.1126/scirobotics.aba5726
  • Alapan Y.#, Yigit B.#, Beker O., Demirors A. F., Sitti M., Shape-encoded dynamic assembly of mobile micromachines, Nature Materials, 2019, doi: 10.1038/s41563-019-0407-3
  • Alapan Y.#, Yasa O.#, Schauer O., Giltinan J., Tabak A. F., Sourjik V., Sitti M., Soft erythrocyte-based bacterial microswimmers for cargo delivery, Science Robotics, 2018, 3(17) 542-49