Awarded in 2017
Home Department: Aeronautics & Astronautics
Faculty Advisors: Juan Santiago (Mechanical Engineering) and Sanjiva Lele (Aeronautics & Astronautics, Mechanical Engineering)
Research Title: Electrokinetic microfluidics for rapid and automated clinical diagnostics
Research Description: The dream of low-cost and personalized medicine requires innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to build and customize emerging technologies for molecular diagnostics. DNA and protein microarrays are now mature technologies in biomedicine and have proven value in research. However, lack of automation and long (~15-hour) assay times have crippled efforts to bring them to fast, automated clinical diagnostics. Ashwin’s research is around microfluidics and electric fields to automate genetic and proteomic microarray technologies to provide actionable diagnosis in 60 minutes with 10-times greater sensitivity than current methods. The work has potential to enable rapid clinical diagnosis of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and connective tissue diseases (CTDs).