Our research focuses on the biomedical applications of photonic Microsystems (MEMS/NEMS), semi- conductor chips and nanotechnologies, in particular, on imaging, sensing and regulating cellular processes critical to development and disease. The actively pursued areas are: (1) Nano-microfabricated photonic sensors for characterizing the cell mechanics, microscanners for molecular imaging and microscopy towards miniaturized endoscopic pre-cancer detection and diagnosis, and near-field nano-patterning of biomaterials. (2) Hybrid microfluidic-on-silicon instruments for in-vivo cell and embryo manipulation, culturing and analysis; in particular, microinjections, ultrasonic cellular-scale surgical tools, self-assembly and high-speed particle sorting for studying cellular interactions and embryo development network. (3) Multi-scale simulation of fundamental force, flow, energy processes involved in cell-substrate interactions. Recent work includes theoretical and experimental studies on the energy dissipation process associated with fluidic self-assembly for both soft biological samples and silicon chips.
Translational biomedical engineering plays an important role in assimilating the advancement of device engineering towards developing innovative diagnosis, treatment and prevention of important human diseases at genetic, molecular and cellular levels. The micro-nano scale tools for cell manipulation, dynamic culturing and in vivo microscopy contribute to the continuity of investigations across the biological hierarchy of multiple scales, culminating in the understanding of whole body functions in health and disease. Nano-Micro, Info, and Bio are integrative components of our research, in which engineering expertise in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnologies, photonics, microfluidics and informatics is synergized to facilitate biomedical studies and point-of-care (POC) diagnostics for global health initiatives, and to obtain a better understanding of the fundamental problems in life science. This in turn benefits the advancement of engineering research.
Researchers led by Dr. John X.J. Zhang have developed a portable microscope that may reduce the time it takes to diagnose oral cancer.
Our device uses a laser to illuminate areas of the sample and a micromirror. Micromirrors have previously been used in barcode scanners and fiber optic switches and are controlled by microelectromechanical systems, allowing the laser beam to scan an area in a programmed fashion. The low cost and ease of fabrication of micromirrors along with their easy integration into electronic systems make them an indispensable component of the probe. The successful pre-clinical studies were performed jointly with Division of Oral, Head, and Neck Pathology at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. The lead researchers are graduate students Youmin Wang and Gauri Behave, and biomedical engineering undergraduate student Nick Triesault .
* News from Science Daily
John X.J. Zhang, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, BME 5.202-O
Austin, TX 78712-0238
Microelectronics Research Center
MER 2.206W, 10100 Burnet Road
Laboratory: Bldg. 16, Rm. 19-22
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
Austin, TX 78758
[Directions to Zhang
Tel: (512) 475-6872
Fax: (512) 232-4275
The University of Texas at Austin
107 W Dean Keeton St, C0800
Recent Laboratory Publications
1. Y.Y. Huang, K. Hoshino, P. Chen, C. Wu, N. Lane, M. Huebschman, K. Sokolov, J.W. Uhr, E.P. Frenkel and X.J. Zhang, "Immunomagnetic Nanoscreening of Circulating Tumor Cells with a Motion Controlled Microfluidic System", Biomedical Microdevices, 15(4): 673-81, 2013
2. Z.X. Wang, D. Fine, H. Wu, J. Schmulen, Y. Hu, B. Godin, X.J. Zhang, and X. Liu, "Ciliated micropillars for the microfluidic-based isolation of nanoscale lipid vesicles", Lab on a Chip, 13, 2879-2882, 2013
3. T. Sharma, K. Aroom, S. Naik, B. Gill, and X.J. Zhang, "Flexible Thin-Film PVDF-TrFE Based Pressure Sensor for Smart Catheter Applications", Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 41, 4, 744-751, 2013
4. Y. Lee, K. Hoshino, A. Alu and X.J. Zhang, "Tunable directive radiation using surface-plasmon diffraction gratings," Optics Express, 21, 3, 2748-2756, 2013.
5. L. Wang, Y. Wang, X.J. Zhang, "Embedded metal focus grating for silicon nitride waveguide with enhanced coupling and directive radiation", Optical Express, 20, 16, 17509 - 17521, 2012