Seminar: Nanoscale electrokinetics for manipulation and measurement of biosystems

MultiSTEPS Seminar, Thursday, April 5, 10-11am, 310 ICTAS

Nanoscale electrokinetics for manipulation and measurement of biosystems
Dr. Nathan Swami, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Virginia

Abstract: The ability to selectively manipulate bio-systems (cells, DNA and proteins) and nanostructures (nanofibers, nanotubes and nanowires) in fluids and at localized fluid/surface interfaces, within media of a wide range of conductivity, is fundamental to many applications in biomedicine and nanofabrication. Electrokinetic methodologies based on inherent dielectric properties of the manipulated nanostructures are uniquely poised for directing self-assembly since their scaling laws are highly compatible with micro- and nanofluidic systems, and their instrumentation are relatively simple. In our group, we focus on micro/nanofluidic device platforms for electrokinetic and magnetic trapping, alignment and patterning of nano- and biomaterials for applications within biosensing and tissue regeneration. This talk will present examples on the challenges and opportunities for the application of electrokinetics within biosensing for frequency-selective pre-concentration of target analytes to enhance detection sensitivity of biomarkers, within tissue regeneration for alignment of nanostructures for cell guidance, and within environmental remediation through dielectric characterization of infectious microbial cell viability.

Bio: Nathan Swami is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at University of Virginia, where his research is centered on devices for the dielectric manipulation of bio- and nanostructures for biosensing and tissue regeneration applications. Previously he served as a Principal Scientist within the MEMS and Microfluidics group of Motorola Labs, and Senior Scientist at Clinical Microsensors, a Caltech start-up focused on electronically functional DNA micro-arrays.