Development, characterization, and analytical applications of microfluidic devices and nanostructured materials
Compared to conventional benchtop instruments, microfluidic devices possess advantageous characteristics including portability, reduced analysis time, and relatively inexpensive production, making them attractive analytical devices. The goals of our research lab include the design, operation, and application of microfluidic techniques and the rational design of biosensors. In line with these goals, the objectives of my research are to develop and characterize novel microfluidic platforms and to improve their overall efficiency towards the analysis of a wide range of biologically active and environmentally-relevant compounds. Specifically, the research projects discussed herein are based on the development of novel strategies enabling the miniaturization of traditional analytical protocols using microfluidic devices. In addition, the development and characterization of novel biosensors incorporating thin-films of nanoporous materials that can be potentially used in series with the microfluidic platforms is discussed. A critical review of the field involving adsorption of proteins to nanomaterials for the use of biosensors is also discussed. Results related to the design, characterization, and applications of the devices and biosensors are discussed along with the advantages of these technologies.