Principle Investigator


Deependra Kumar Ban, PhD

Visiting Scientist

Ze Shi, PhD

Graduate Students

Nirav Patel/ PhD candidate, Bioengineering


PhD. Bioengineering, UCSD (current)

B.S. Bioengineering, UCSD


Atomic Force Microscopy, Oceanic Microbiology:

The biological activity of marine microbes constitutes a significant fraction in the cycling of essential nutrients throughout the global oceans.

Spatio-temporal variations in nutrient distribution in the surface waters influence the adaptive strategies that microbes employ for their energy requirements. My research focuses on the application of high-resolution atomic force microscopy to marine microbial ecology for elucidating microbial interactions with colloidal dissolved organic matter and their ecological context.

Qingqing Yang/ PhD candidate, Materials Science


PhD. Materials Science and Engineering, UCSD (current)

M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Xi'an Jiao Tong University


Design and development of multifunctional AFM-array for structure–function imaging of live synaptic networks:

Coordinated activity of ion channels and receptors controls synaptic transmission underlying normal brain activity and pathologies, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson Diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to know how the molecular scale structures of proteins and protein complexes respond to external stimuli. Importantly, the activity of proteins at multiple locations along a signal transmission pathway needs to be studied simultaneously to better elucidate their role in in the brain functioning.

We are developing a new array-atomic force microscope (AFM-array) consisting of multifunctional cantilever array with independent sensors and actuators. The new AFM-array will enable 1) multipoint simultaneously imaging the synaptic network at the scales of its organization, namely, nano-to-macro scale, 2) measuring localized electrical and chemical activity, and 3) interfacing with animal and human subjects.

Juan Ybarra/ PhD student, Materials Science


PhD. Materials Science and Engineering UCSD (current)

B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, MIT


Alzheimer's Disease Biomarker Discovery

I am developing a biosensor for detecting multiple suspected biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease simultaneously. Such a biosensor could be used to pin down the best way to detect the development of Alzheimer's Disease while also discovering its true cause. To accomplish this goal, I am integrating optical components into microelectromechanical systems(MEMS). This will make the device capable of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy.

Grace Jang / PhD student, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


PhD candidate Mechanical Engineering, UCSD (current)

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, UCSD

B.S. Aerospace Engineering, UCSD


Design of a traceable nano carrier for controlled drug release using a DNA hinge capping system

Design of nano acupuncture needles for intracellular recordings

Vrinda Sant / Graduate student, Materials Science and Engineering


PhD Student Materials Science & Engineering, UCSD (current)

B.S. Bioengineering, UCSD


Synthesis of magnetic nanocarriers for targetted drug delivery and design of in vitro assays to characterize their in vivo transport

Magnetic nanocarriers have multiple applications in drug delivery, for example, hyperthermia, controlled release, localization in target tissue and increased retention and increased uptake in endothelial cells. However, a multitude of factors and variables go into guiding nanocarriers with external magnetic fields. For delivery via systemic administration, nanocarriers not only have to be compatible with all the various tissues in the body, but also have to be able to overcome all physiological barriers. This calls for a systematic study of their transport under a magnetic field and fluid flow in various physical and chemical environments. I have been working on designing assays to conduct these studies.Over the course of many months, these assays have evolved into simple microfluidic systems interfaced with detection on an optical microscope.

Yushuang Liu / Visiting PhD student from Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, China


PhD Student, Life Science,Inner Mongolia Agrcultural University, China(current)

M.S. Life Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, China

B.S. Life Science, Chifeng University, China


We have developed bio-sensors consisting of a graphene field effect transistor (GFET) with a nanoscale layer of DNA nano-device. The current through the graphene shows a characteristic response to single nucleotide gene mutation (SNP). Our SNP sensing & signaling platform will facilitate the development of the miniaturized, implantable, digital, and wireless point-of-care biosensors for early detection & monitoring of life threatening human diseases. We are expanding our target bi-molecules into proteins, bacteria and others.

Abhijith Karkisaval / MS student, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


M.S. Mechanical Engineering, UCSD (current)

B.E. Mechanical Engineering, Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore


MEMS Biosensor: Mathematical modeling of electromechanical transduction process in resonant MEMS mass sensor. I am working on developing a Finite Element Model for understanding the resonant behavior of the MEMS biosensor.

Design, Analysis and optimization of diffration gratings used in MEMS biosensors: Understanding the process of light propagation through the diffraction grating and coupling to the waveguide modes using Rigorous Coupled Wave Analysis (RCWA).

Madhura Som, Nanoengineering Ph.D.


Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech), Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata, India, Applied Electronics & Instrumentation Engg (2011)

Master of Science (M.S.), Materials Science & Engineering, Stony Brook University, NY, USA (2013)

PhD Student, Department of Nanoengineering, UCSD

Project: Design of novel hydrophobic drug delivery system for neuro-degenerative diseases

Aditya Vijay, Materials Science & Engineering M.S.

Project: Fabrication and development of MEMS piezoelectric thin film actuators for sensing and bio-imaging applications.

Jay Sheth, Nanoengineering M.S.

Tianyi Lu, Bioengineering M.S.

Putian He, Bioengineering M.S.

Undergraduate Students

Justin Yur, Junior in Bioengineering (Biotech)

Aaron Tam, Bioengineering

Yijie He, Bioengineering (Biosystems)

Quynh Do, Bioengineering

Manuel Sobol, Mechanical Engineering, San Diego Mesa College

High School Students

Malvika Jain