Current Projects

  • Biomolecular Detection at Polarized Liquid Interfaces

    We use electrokinetics to detect biomolecular binding events at liquid interfaces

    Our goal is to develop highly sensitive and reliable microfluidic sensors that are capable of quantitative and reproducible detection of a wide variety of target analytes.

  • Rapid and Simple Sample Acquisition During Space Flight

    We are interested in developing portable devices for automated protein and nucleic acid separation

    The overall goal of this project is to develop lightweight and portable molecular pre-concentration, separation, extraction and amplification devices for proteins and nucleic acids.


  • Detection of Autologous Blood Doping Using Microfluidics and Dielectrophoresis

    We are developing assays to detect cheating by autologous blood transfusions in endurance sports

    We are always interested in using microfluidics and electrokinetics to solve novel and impactful problems. Currently, we are focusing part of our research efforts to help eliminate cheating in endurance sports.

    The ability to increase oxygen carrying capacity to exercising skeletal muscles is an effective method for improving athletic performance. Unfortunately, some athletes have turned to artificially enhanced performance gains using an autologous blood transfusion (ABT), despite this method being banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    Using recently acquired grants from WADA and the Partnership for Clean Competition (PCC), we are developing electrokinetic and microfluidic techniques to detect autologous blood transfusions in endurance athletes

  • Electric Fields, Microfluidics and Cell Motility

    Why do cells migrate in response to electric fields? We are using microfluidics to answer this question.

    My group also uses microfluidics as a tool to study cell behavior. For example, we recently explored the use of microfluidics to gain insight into the role that confined environments play in promoting the formation of cellular protrusions, including blebs and pseudopods, during chemotaxis.

    With our ability to precisely control extracellular environments, our future work in this area will focus on investigating the role that various mechanical and electrical cues play in regulating cell behavior. For example, in a recently funded 3-year NSF award in Biomedical Engineering, we are utilizing microfluidics platform to investigate the dynamics of cell migration under the influence of exogenous electric fields (e.g. Electrotaxis).

  • Paper-based Electrokinetic Processing

    We are interested in harnessing the power of electrokinetics for performing microfluidic tasks on paper.

    The goal of this proposal is to develop a multipurpose low-cost paper-based electrokinetic tools for performing complex fluidic pumping, routing, metering, and sensing on ultra-low-cost paper devices.