Fluidics for Health and the Environment

In the Applied Microfluidics & Bioengineering (AMB) Lab, we engineer innovations for understanding biological systems at the single-cell level, and then we apply this knowledge to develop novel biomedical technologies for applications in health and environmental science. We combine our knowledge of microfluidics, optics, advanced microscopy, electrokinetics, cell biology, and translational medicine to carefully mimic, manipulate, and measure biology. The current areas of focus include sperm motility, Infertility, assisted reproduction, organ-on-a-chip, cancer diagnostics, microbe-based environmental remediation, and climate change. Some examples of our current and past research areas are listed below.

Fertility

We are developing innovative microfluidic technologies for advanced understanding of fertilisation and studying the reproductive future of patients after cancer survival, with the potential to devise new diagnostic and therapeutic methods for infertility and oncofertility. This research program will produce state-of-the-art technologies for pharmaceutical applications in assisted reproduction and drug discovery.

Cell Motility

We are developing new methods to resolve the swimming characteristics of microswimmers, including sperm and bacteria, in confined environments and to understand their interaction mechanisms with physiochemical stimuli present in vivo or in their natural habitats. 

Diagnostics

We are developing microfluidic technologies, particularly in paper-based formats, paired with emerging mobile health strategies for clinical and point-of-care diagnostics. This research program will result in simple, rapid, and low-cost platforms to offer new possibilities for accurate and early diagnosis and prevention of current health threats, such as cancer and infectious diseases.

Sensing

We are developing simple and low-cost biosensors for rapid and ultrasensitive detection of biochemical analytes. These sensing methods can directly detect trace concentrations of drugs, explosives, and pesticides, suitable for broad applications in environmental monitoring, forensic science, and medical diagnostics.

Electrokinetics

We investigated electrokinetic and pressure driven flow of non-Newtonian fluids in microchannels and nanochannels using a numerical model based on the finite volume scheme. For shear thinning fluids, electroosmotic micromixing was found as an effective method to mix species at the microscale. We also proposed a modified 2D model for the electric double layer overlap in nanochannels. Through this research, we gained advanced fundamental understanding related to non-linear hydrodynamics of biofluids flow such as blood and mucus in microenvironments.

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