One of the main goals of lab-on-a-chip research is to develop generic platforms for manipulating small fluid droplets, colloidal particles and single cells with the flexibility, scalability and automation of modern-day computer circuits. . In particular, there is an urgent need for tools to organize large arrays of single cells and single-cell pairs, evaluate the temporal responses of individual cell and cell-pair interactions over long durations, and retrieve specific cells from the array for follow-on analyses. The desired capabilities of single-cell arrays bear strong resemblance to random access memory (RAM) computer chips, including the ability to introduce and retrieve single cells from precise locations of the chip (writing data), and query the biological state of specified cells at future time points (reading data). In this talk, I will describe a joint effort between a team of engineers and medical doctors at Duke University and DGIST on the development of single cell random access chips that are based on a combination of magnetic patterns and current lines, which together can precisely control magnetic-nanoparticle-labeled single cells. The magnetic patterns are used to create passive circuitry analogous to the lumped element conductors, capacitors and diodes of electronic circuits. The current lines are used to establish active circuitry for switching particles and cells between different tracks. When combined together into small arrays, we demonstrate a scalable platform with general multiplexing properties, thereby paving the way for the development of digital circuitry for parallel control of matter.
- 2013-present : Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, NC
2005-2013 : Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, NC
- 2010-present : Associate Professor, University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China (Joint Appointment)
- 2004-2005 : Postdoctoral Researcher, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Division of Cardiology, University of Pennsylvania.
2001-2004 : Graduate Research Assistant, NDSEG Fellow, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.
Awards and Honors
- CNIHR: Creative and Novel Ideas for HIV Research Awardee (2014)
- 青年千人计划 Youth 1000 Scholars Award (2011)
- Lois and John M. Imhoff Distinguished Teaching Award (2008)
- Benjamin Franklin Key Award, Philadelphia, PA, (2005).
- World Technology Network Nominee, Health and Medicine Category (2005).
- National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, (2002-2005)
- National Collegiate Inventor’s Competition (one of 9 Finalists), Akron, OH, (2004)