We specialize in interfacing microfluidics with electrodes for sensing, actuation, and data collection. The electrical contacts in our research are used both as inputs (for instance, manipulating particles or driving fluid flows in a microreactor) and outputs (for instance, resistive sensing of particles or chemicals within a microreactor, or data transmission to a faraway receiver via a wireless chip.) Sometimes, we use compliant structures as electrodes.
Induced charge electroosmosis (ICEO) is an approach explored by our group and several others for generating microvortices which enable rapid mixing at a very small scale. Microscopic channels on silicon, glass or polymer chips are used in bioanalysis and chemical detection, and as microreactors. Microfluidic mixing is a crucial sample preparation step needed for autonomous chemical sensors and reactors, especially for large molecules or particles which are slow to mix by diffusion.
We also investigate lab-on-a-chip particle counters and microreactors in the gas, liquid, plasma, and solid phases. Besides applications in biotechnology, these systems can potentially produce and analyze micro-and nanomaterials needed for advanced sensors and actuators.