Research Overview

Malaria Diagnostic & Monitoring Technologies

Low-cost microscopy for malarial parasitemia quantification in microfluidically-generated thin smears at the point-of-care. Designed and built low-cost optical system designed to assess the severity of infection at the point-of-care for patients diagnosed with malaria. System is designed to be portable and robust, for use in areas where access to centralized labs is limited. Additional results include proceedings and papers (partially in preparation) on microfluidic smear generation, sample staining processes & quality, hematocrit measurement techniques using microfluidic cartridges, parasitemia detection statistics, and a tri-modal, portable fluorescence, brightfield, and cross-polarized microscopy platform. Skills developed include statistical modeling, Zemax raytracing, optical system design and testing, immunohistochemical staining techniques, microfluidic device fabrication, computational image processing, and training and integration of deep learning and neural networks.

Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes Monitoring Technologies

Troubleshooting, optical modeling, and design modifications for wearable fluorescence-lifetime-based reader of sub-dermal glucose monitoring implant. Successfully identified optical coupling deficiencies and proposed modifications that allowed for fabrication of units which were subsequently used in system animal trials

Performed initial, proof-of-concept design and testing of optical coupling and microfluidic sample flow access for Aluminum-Nitride integrated photonic, chip-based Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy system. Collaborators brought integrated photonic chips utilizing ring-resonators to the table as platform for lab-in-your-palm, Raman-based biomarker detection. Worked to develop optical and microfluidic systems to enable initial signal detection from concentration-based Raman reporter and fluorescent recognition assays. Work resulted in successful signal detection, conference talk and proceeding, and is now being continued by full-time Ph.D. student.

Supervised undergraduate teams working to create optically realistic integrated skin, tissue, and blood phantom system for in-vitro testing of PPG, pulse-oximeter, & wearable fitness band testing and development. Work required extensive group management efforts as well as familiarization with entirely new area of phantom creation. Skills developed include intimate familiarity with designing customized scattering and absorption profiles in materials as well as all tools used, including integrating spheres, inverse-adding-doubling software, plate-readers, polymer molding, and fluidics management control system.

Low-Cost Optical Component Manufacturing

Conceptualized, tested, and validated method to rapidly prototype parabolic polymer lenses using a low-cost, benchtop centrifuge system. Polymeric lenses can be made with infinitely variable curvatures in either meniscus, positive concave, or negative concave geometries using a variety of materials. Served as direct supervisor and study co-author alongside my undergraduate mentee. Skills acquired include interferometric optical quality assessment and thin-film polymer, self-assembled-monolayer (SAM), and metal layer deposition techniques.

%d bloggers like this: