Maintaining a multidisciplinary approach, my research innovates micro/nano mechatronic based sensing technologies with applications in sensing, actuation, aerospace, automotive,robotics, navigation, human machine interaction,bio-medical, diagnostics, bio-defense and basic research.

 


My research is targeted at design, fabrication and characterization of futuristic 3D micro/nano mechatronic systems to enable breakthrough scientific discoveries in physics, engineering, biology and medicine. One aspect of our on-going research is focused on creating 3D micro/nano-electromechanical (MEMS/NEMS) sensors for improved sensitivity, reduced material footprint and low power consumption for high precision applications in automotive, aerospace and robotics. The other aspect of our research is to engineer micro/nano-fluidic based lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technologies to provide portable, self-powered, low cost and disposable tools for biochemical analysis. We are skilled in mechatronic principles, dynamics, micro/nano-systems, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), micro/nano-component modelling, mask design, solid modelling, sensing, actuation, micro/nano-fabrication, optical/fluorescence microscopy, biological cell analysis, DNA sequencing, single molecule analysis, electronics design, PCB, characterization (SEM, AFM, XRD) and testing.


Programmable Lab-on-a-chip (LOC)

Micro/milli-fluidic based Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are multifunctional systems that can process low volumes of fluids with integrated fluidic networks, circuits and channels. We take a new approach for LOC development by combining 3D micro/nano-fabrication with configurable droplet based fluidics for efficient large scale biochemical analysis. Low volumes of fluids are manipulated in 3-dimensional manner via addressable and programmable electrical actuation. The programmable and disposable “smart” lab-chip system is expected to provide unprecedented new details in our understanding of molecular functionalities. Massively parallel fabrication capability, real-time controls and high-throughput are the key advantages of our technology that can pave the way for developing “smart” and portable lab-on-a-chip device. 

Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Based 3D Gyroscopes

Rapid development of micro-fabrication technology is allowing both the academia and the industry to pursue mass fabrication of high-precision navigation grade motion sensing. The technology once considered as exclusively for aerospace navigation, is now being regarded as within reach for a range of day-to-day motion sensing applications such as in smart phones, camera and gaming console. This research project search for an innovative 3D design, fabrication and packaging prospect for MEMS based ultra-precision gyroscopes with robust mechanical materials that have never been explored before in MEMS.

Ultra-low Damping Microelectromechanical (MEMS) Resonators

MEMS gyroscope employs a resonating mass (resonator) to detect changes in motion which is the central element of the gyroscope. Energy loss of the MEMS resonator is the primary barrier towards the achieving navigation grade precision. Predicting the resonators vibration characteristics (damping, stability, immunity to external vibration and energy dissipation) is critical for minimizing energy loss. Our group is developing a new generation of MEMS resonators that are adaptable with mass fabrication process with an optimum design derived from robust mechanical materials.

 3D Micro/Nano Fabrication

Semi-conductor based classical micro/nano-fabrication process is 2D. Making 3D MEMS/NEMS structures can be elusive for the development of next generation MEMS, lab-on-chips, micro-optics, and microelectronics. Our group is working to break the convention by innovating 3D micro/nano-fabrication techniques on materials such as fused silica and glass. The chemical inertness of these materials prevents fabrication of smooth, high-aspect ratio structures using conventional fabrication techniques. We are developing a new approach to wafer-scale 3D micro/nano-fabrication process that can produce verity of MEMS/NEMS features on glass or fused silica.

Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) based Personalised Navigation

There is a need for effective, standalone, indoor navigation devices which not only track users in unknown environments but also assist their navigation by obstacle avoidance and guidance. This project is developing a state-of-the-art stand alone and portable navigation systems by implementing improved and effective pedestrian inertial navigation algorithms in combination with environmental mapping in unknown environments. It offers efficient alternative compare to the existing systems with greater functionality in dark, visually restricted environments, where this type of navigation system could prove most powerful.

3D Printed Lab-on-a-chip (LOC)

LOC has been showing tremendous interest in biochemical and point of care applications by offering on-chip laboratory functions via series of fluidic systems. LOC fabrications are primarily relying on 2D lithography based methods. 3D printing in LOC fabrication is emerging as an easily accessible and cost effective alternate. Current 3D printed LOC devices requires coupling with external fluid pumping (e.g. syringe pump) for fluid handling. We develop 3D printed LOC by eliminating the use of external power and pumps thus making it suitable for portable point-of-care (POC) testing. It is eco-friendly, disposable and re-configurable to facilitate the development of next generation of self-powered, portable, configurable and disposable lab-on-a-chip.

Nano-fluidics for Single Molecular Analysis

Nanofluidic devices are showing growing interest in the single molecule analysis applications due to their capability to directly probe individual molecules. Single molecule analysis is a powerful approach that allows unprecedented new details of biomedical information. A DNA molecule will stretch out when confined in a nanochannel, linearly arraying the genomic information. The traditional nanochannel based devices are mostly based on continuous fluidics. In this research program, we are combing programmable electrical actuation with nanofluidics for simpler and faster analysis of single molecules. 

Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) for Complex Disease Diagnostics

Lab-on-a-chip provides an innovative way for performing complex scientific procedures while reducing experimental time, cost and chemical waste. Our group is pursuing developing of a LOC that has potential for a wide variety of applications such as cell isolation, cell lysis, genomic extraction and detection of complex diseases such as Cancer. A benefit of the technology is that it could avoid the use of multiple and sometimes invasive methods for detection of cancer such as: MRI, CT scans, PET scans, complete blood count tests, blood protein testing, tumor marker test, circulating tumor cell test and biopsies. Our goal is to eliminate the ambiguity and invasive nature of the current testing measures and provide an effective point-of-care alternate.