EE Colloquium: Micro-and-Nanofluidic Systems for Molecular Biosensing, Mechanobiology, and Pain Symptomatology


Micro-and-nanofluidic systems coupled with biochemistry, microscopy, nanomaterials, and machine learning components are powerful tools being used for numerous biomedical applications. In this talk, we highlight a quantum dot labeled CRISPR assay and a disposable microfluidic system for the simple and rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2. To enhance the detection limit, this nanoparticle-labeled CRISPR assay is integrated with a solid-state nanopore sensor for highly sensitive and multiplexing detection of infectious diseases. A detection limit of 50 fM and a dynamic range of six orders of magnitude before front-end target amplification are achieved using SARS-CoV-2 RNA segments. We then introduce our recent efforts to understand the interactions of nanomaterials and single cells with a deformable microfluidic platform, and discuss a variety of clinical applications such as in vivo bioimaging with optofluidics, dentine hypersensitivity, and synthetic biology.


Dr. Ke Du is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and leads the Nanobiosensing, Nanomanufacturing, and Nanomaterials (3N) Lab. He also holds appointments in the microsystems engineering program, College of Health Science and Technology, and School of Chemistry and Materials Science. Before joining RIT in 2018, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the chemistry department at the University of Califorinia, Berkeley.

Dr. Du’s research interests include in vitro molecular diagnosis, in vivo biosensing, mechanobiology, and nanomanufacturing. He has received numerous awards and honors such as the NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award in 2021, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) Collaborative Travel Grant in 2019, the James H. Potter Award for outstanding performance in a doctoral program in 2014, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Student Fellowship in 2012. He has been recognized as a global rising star in sensing by ACS Sensors and as a finalist for the MINE 2020 Young Scientists Award.

Du’s research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, NSF, the Department of Energy, BWF, the UNYTE Translational Research Network, and industry partners such as L3Harris, Colgate Palmolive, SiPhox, Mammoth Biosciences, and Biological Mimetics.


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Media Contact: Iam-Choon Khoo



The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research fields.

We offer B.S. degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and data science and graduate degrees (master's degrees and Ph.D.'s) in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering. EECS focuses on the convergence of technologies and disciplines to meet today’s industrial demands.

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