Current Research

Our research is focused primarily on microfabricated systems for bioanalysis. We are especially interested in developing and implementing new separation technologies onto microfluidic devices for DNA and protein analysis. Current active projects include:

(1) Development of a hybrid chip-based and automated two dimensional electrophoresis platform for high-speed, high throughput and sensitive protein analysis. Our target is to separate more than 10,000 proteins in one run in less than two hours.

We are especially interested in developing and implementing new separation technologies onto microfluidic devices for DNA and protein analysis.

(2) Nanocapillary for DNA separations in gel-free separations. With a nanocapillary we can separate DNA from a few base pairs to hundreds of thousands base pairs in a single run. It can be an improved alternative technique for Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis. This project is aimed at identifying single bacterium for infectious diseases.

(3) Nanomaterials: Fabrication, investigation and application of liquid behavior and mass transport in/through nanochannels. We have discovered the ion-enrichment and ion-depletion effect at micro-nanochannel interfaces. We have invented a new separation technique based on unique distributions of ions in nanoscale capillaries – the Nanochannel chromatography. We have developed a nanochannel membrane for fuel cell applications.

(4) Inventing new micropumps for lab-on-chip devices. We have developed a flow battery or pressure power source that can be stacked to produce pressures of more than a thousand psi. The immediate goal is to integrate such a pressure power source, along with an injection valve and detector, on a microchip for HPLC separations.