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Gels are a very unique state of matter and play very important roles in nature. As a special intermediate state between solid and liquid, gels have some peculiar characteristics, such as phase transition and ion-exchange. These unique properties allow them to have very broad applications in modern physics and biological sciences. My research has focused on the application of polymer gel physics and engineering to understand a broad scope of biological systems including cell and ocean. My study on pancreas acinar cells aims to validate a simple hypothesis to help understand the mechanism of initiating of alcoholic acute pancreatitis. Abnormally high [Ca2+]C in the cytosol side can initiate acute pancreatitis through a Ca2+/ K+ ion-exchange mechanism with a gel state polyanionic matrix inside the pancreas acinar cell zymogen granules as ion-exchanger. Ethanol treatment can sensitize the pancreas acinar cell to this ion-exchange process. The application of polymer gel principles to marine microgel system aims to understand the role and mechanism of exopolymers from marine microbes on spontaneous assembly of DOC into highly bioactive polymer gels. The effects of DOC concentration, seawater pH, and seawater temperature on spontaneous assembly kinetics have been investigated in this study. A fluorescent-probe assay to measure the fraction of carbon present in self-assembled gels was also developed. The successful applications of polymer gel physics to cell signaling and oceanography demonstrate the great potential of the interdisciplinary approaches in research.