Micro & Nanosystems

MEMS sensors and actuators; nanofabrication materials, processes and devices; labs-on-a-chip; small-scale energy generation, storage and harvesting; microsystem medical devices and treatments; trust and security for nano-scale devices.

ISR researchers have developed nanoscale technologies for sensing and manipulation. These systems include biologically inspired cell-based sensors and biological and chemical sensing systems for toxin detection, micro-ball bearing and three-dimensional grayscale microfabrication technologies for microengines, microfluidic medical devices for detecting and treating biofilms, and ingestible capsules to sense and provide medication in the GI tract. Our research has contributed to advances in batteries, including a tobacco mosaic virus scaffold battery with high surface area and capacity, high-powered nanostructured 3D microbatteries, and carbon nanotube current collectors for aqueous battery systems.

Recent publications


Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Pamela Abshire and 32 others

This paper shows that even failed attempts are genuine and valuable contributions to our field provided that we learn from our mistakes and correct them. The 27 confessions span from planning oversights, digital and analog design errors, misunderstanding of devices, overlooked parasitics, LVS errors, and troubles in testing.

2020 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS)


An Imaging Platform for Real-Time In Vitro Microscopic Imaging for Lab-on-CMOS Systems

Bathiya Senevirathna, Sheung Luhave, Elisabeth Smela, Pamela Abshire

The first real-time imaging platform that generates high-quality images of lab-on-CMOS systems in cell culture environments.

2019 IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS)


Electrochemical measurement of serotonin by Au-CNT electrodes fabricated on microporous cell culture membranes

Ashley Chapin, Pradeep Rajasekaran, David Quan, Liangbing Hu, Jens Herberholz, William Bentley, Reza Ghodssi

Develops a platform that provides access to the specific site of serotonin production, important because serotonin is secreted from the bottoms of cells. An innovative porous membrane with an integrated serotonin sensor on which a model of the gut lining can be grown allowed researchers to access both top and bottom sides of the cell culture.

Microsystems & Nanoengineering (a Nature publication)

A Hybrid Biomonitoring System for Gut-Neuron Communication

Ashley Chapin, Jinjing Han, Ta-Wen Ho, Jens Herberholz, Reza Ghodssi

An integrated electrochemical and electrophysiological biomonitoring system, enabling the study of molecular signaling along the gut-brain-axis (GBA).

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems

3D-printed electrochemical sensor-integrated transwell systems

Pradeep Rajasekaran, Ashley Chapin, David Quan, Jens Herberholz, William Bentley, Reza Ghodssi

Explores the development of a 3D-printed housing, the maintenance of a healthy lab-on-a-chip gut cell culture, and the evaluation of the two types of sensors integrated on the cell culture membrane.

Microsystems & Nanoengineering (a Nature publication)

Wireless Sensor-Integrated Platform for Localized Dissolved Oxygen Sensing in Bioreactors

Justin Stine, Luke Beardslee, Sangwook Chu, Sanwei Liu, Dana Motabar, William Bentley, Reza Ghodssi

The bPod prototype developed in the S&A paper is reduced to the size of a cherry. This research significantly advances the PCB-electronics design, DO sensor, and packaging to achieve the overall system miniaturization desired for use in realistic bioreactor environments.

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems

Electrochemical Dissolved Oxygen Sensor-Integrated Platform for Wireless In Situ Bioprocess Monitoring

Justin Stine, Luke Beardslee, Rajendra Sathyam, William Bentley, Reza Ghodssi

The researchers develop a golf ball-sized bioprocessing online device (bPod) capable of real-time in situ monitoring of bioreactor cell culture parameters, such as dissolved oxygen.

Sensors & Actuators B: Chemical

Capacitive sensing of triglyceride film reactions: a proof-of-concept demonstration for sensing in simulated duodenal contents with gastrointestinal targeting capsule system

George Banis, Ragendramayavan Sathyam, Luke Beardslee, Justin Stine, Reza Ghodssi

Describes an integrated ingestible capsule sensing system with triglyceride film-coated capacitive sensors that can measure biochemical species such as pancreatic lipase and bile acids in the duodenum. The microfabricated capacitive sensors communicate via a Bluetooth low-energy (BLE)-microcontroller, which allows wireless connectivity to a mobile app.

Lab on a Chip

Ingestible Sensors and Sensing Systems for Minimally Invasive Diagnosis and Monitoring: The Next Frontier in Minimally Invasive Screening

Luke Beardslee, George Banis, Sangwook Chu, Sanwei Liu, Ashley Chapin, Justin Stine, Pankaj Pasricha, Reza Ghodssi

This review examines the conventional techniques, as well as ingestible sensors and sensing systems that are currently under development for use in disease screening and diagnosis for GI disorders. Design considerations, fabrication, and applications are discussed.

ACS Sensors


Microsystems for Biofilm Characterization and Sensing—A Review

Sowmya Subramanian, Ryan Huiszoon, Sangwook Chu, William Bentley, Reza Ghodssi

A review that focuses on several types of microsystems for biofilm evaluation including optical, electro-chemical, and mechanical systems. This review will show how these devices can lead to better understanding of the physiology and function of these communities of bacteria, which can eventually lead to the development of novel treatments that do not rely on high-dosage antibiotics.


Virus-assembled technology for next-generation bioenergy harvesting devices

Sangwook Chu, Adam Brown, James Culver, Reza Ghodssi

Research into Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-based assembly of glucose oxidase electrodes for the development of advanced enzymatic biofuel cells (EBCs).

PowerMEMS 2018: Journal of Physics Conference Series, IOP Publishing


Incomplete ionization in aluminum-doped 4H-silicon carbide

Christopher Darmody and Neil Goldsman

An investigation of the degree of incomplete ionization of aluminum-doped 4H-silicon carbide. The research contributes to the advance of p-type silicon carbide (SiC) technology.

Journal of Applied Physics

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