ChBE Seminar Series: Don DeVoe

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Room 2110, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Professor Chunsheng Wang
(301) 405-0352

Integrated Multi-Scale Microfluidics

Presented by Don L. DeVoe
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Affiliate professor, Fischell Department of Bioengineering
University of Maryland, College Park

In the emerging era of systems biology, there is growing demand for tools capable of effectively probing biological systems at the molecular level. Enhanced sensitivity, specificity, dynamic range and throughput for the quantitative study of complex molecular populations are needed to accelerate progress. In this context, the development of nanofabricated structures for biomolecular analysis is an area of promising research. Nanoscale components with characteristic dimensions on the order of the biomolecules themselves offer compelling benefits, such as the realization of sensing elements for single molecule detection, molecular confinement and manipulation, and novel biomolecular separation methods. Concurrent with advances in nanofabrication techniques, the maturation of microfluidics technology has presented researchers with a wealth of system-level capabilities for bioanalysis. Microfluidic systems enable the manipulation of sub-nanoliter fluid volumes, with precise control over dynamic fluid flows, electric field distributions, and diffusive mixing, all in the absence of inertial effects. Looking forward, the confluence of microfluidic and nanoscale technologies is enabling the development of multi-scale systems for next-generation bioanalysis. In this talk, integrated multi-scale microfluidic systems being developed in the Maryland MEMS and Microfluidics Laboratory (MML) will be described, including microfluidic platforms for multidimensional protein separations, and disposable thermoplastic chips for single molecule mass discrimination using biological nanopore transducers. By integrating meso-scale system level functionality, micro-scale fluid handling, and nano-scale functional elements, platforms that that embrace this multi-scale philosophy offer compelling advantages that promise to have a sustained impact on the biological and biomedical sciences.

About the Speaker:

Dr. DeVoe is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Bioengineering. He received the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley in 1997, with a specialization in MEMS and microsystems technology. He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the National Science Foundation, and was recently named a Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences through the Kavli Frontiers of Science program. He presently serves the microsystems community as an Associate Editor of the ASME/IEEE Journal of MicroElectroMechanical Systems. While Dr. DeVoe’s research interests include such topics as piezoelectric microsystems and novel silicon microfabrication methods, his current research is focused on the development of MEMS and microfluidics technologies for biomolecular analysis.

Audience: Graduate  Undergraduate  Faculty  Post-Docs 


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