We develop instruments for solving real-world problems. From low-cost diagnostics for resource-limited and point-of-care applications, to sensitive tools for finding toxic substances in the environment, we love to build cool things that do important stuff.
We’re particularly interested in the fundamental physical properties of small things like particles, cells, and microorganisms. If measured accurately, properties like mass, volume, and density can provide novel information about the chemical identity of a particle or the biological state of a cell or microorganism. Since all objects have these fundamental physical properties, the techniques we develop for measuring these properties have applications in fields as diverse as cell biology, materials science, forensic science, environmental monitoring, and pharmacology.
We also love exploring the interface between microfluidics and computer science. Currently, most microfluidic “chips” are custom-made for a specific purpose, and making microfluidics for new applications requires whole new “chips.” In contrast, a single computer can run virtually any application thanks to its generic hardware and programmable operation. We’re building generic and programmable microfluidics that, like computers, can perform many different tasks simply by running different programs.