Research

Bio-Sensors and Micro-fluidics

The research objectives of this proposal are: (a) Development of novel MEMS sensors and techniques to reliably and repeatedly image individual cells/organisms using bio-impedance measurements, (b) Integration of micro fluidic sensors into flow-through system to develop a generic identification technique and (c) Understand and analyze the challenges in signal processing enabling differential detection. Research outcomes of this proposal would facilitate the fundamental understanding and optimizing of the science and technology of bio-impedance at a micro scale. The research will establish the fundamental science required to enable the development of a single generic sensor that would be capable to identify cells based on their bio-impedance maps.

Nanowires and Nanostructures

The goal of this research is to experimentally understand the effect of change in morphology and structure of one-dimensional nanowires of Pd and NiFe electrodeposited under different conditions on their function. The focus will be on correlating the effect of morphology, size and formation cycle of nanowires to sensor performance, sensitivity and reversibility. The effect of changing the following parameters will be studied a) effect of changing the plating parameters and, b) effect of different templates (graphite, polycarbonate, alumina and porous silicon).

Implantable detection and drug delivery system

The goal of this project is to explore the development of an implantable micro-needle array for diagnostics and therapeutics. The novel approach proposed is to use a concentric hollow silicon microneedle, with the outer needle providing a pathway for analysis and the inner needle acting as a drug reservoir for drug delivery. The unique aspect of this design is a gas doped solid doped silicon barrier between the storage needle and the tissue, a novel approach to releasing drugs in-vivo. This research is a quantum jump over current approaches that microneedle technology either as fluid extraction and in-situ analysis tools or for transdermal drug delivery. This research aims to establish the feasibility of an integrated diagnostics/treatment system. The fabrication approach includes a combination of asymmetric masking, dry (isotropic/anisotropic) and wet etching to create concentric, beveled-tipped, and hollow microneedles.

Biotic-abiotic interfaces (various)Bio sampling interfaces

The goal of this project is to achieve strategic coupling MEMS systems to cellular micro-environments.

Cardiovascular-(CV) MEMS

The goal of this project is development of Sensors for markers of cardiovascular injury.

Synthesis and Applications of Nanocrystalline Diamond for MEMS

The objective of this research is to synthesize nanocrystalline diamond thin films with very small grain size (5-10 nm), lower surface roughness (20-30 nm) and less internal stress and utilize its extraordinary properties in various applications such as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and biomedical devices. The research focus will be: 1) to synthesize nanostructured (5-10nm) diamond thin films by using novel plasma chemistry; 2) to develop and apply advanced characterization techniques to understand mechanical and tribological properties of this material at the nanoscale; 3) to demonstrate potential applications in critical technologies including high fidelity MEMS and biomedical devices; 4) to model the growth and resulting properties of nanodiamond thin films important for MEMS and bio-applications.

Hydrogen Sensor

The goal of this project is to fabricate a porous thin film humidity sensor for environmental monitoring.