BME Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. Program
Research Interest: Detection of biomolecules and other molecules such as therapeutics, drugs of abuse, and environmental pollutants is important to understanding our health. Devices which are easy to operate yet can provide reliable results for such detection are in huge demand. Current detection methods are either too expensive or complicated, or limited to a small category of molecules. To bridge this gap, my research is focused on platforms for the point-of-care (POC) for multiplexed detection of small molecules and biomarkers (e.g. inflammatory biomarkers).
The first platform is expanding applications of Arrayed Imaging Reflectometry (AIR) developed in the Miller lab. AIR has been able to detect small-molecules and larger-molecule protein biomarkers separately in slightly different approaches. By combining the two approaches together, AIR can perform small-molecule drug and protein biomarker detection at once. The second platform is sorbent polymer-coated Waveguide-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (WERS) on a reusable integrated photonic chip. Raman spectroscopy can identify analyte molecules by their unique spectral features and has been studied as a potential diagnostic tool, using the evanescent field to excite and collect the Raman signal of the molecule selectively absorbed by the coated polymer of the waveguide. The tiny size and low power requirement makes WERS ideal for POC, and selective signal enhancement increases its sensitivity.