Solving medical problems one device at a time

Our group employs and creates novel engineering and fabrication approaches to overcome longstanding problems in medicine.
We principally employ micro/nanofabrication methods and acoustofluidics, and explore new fundamental physical phenomena along the way to applications.

The realtime video at left is our Neurotendo minimally invasive actuator system, only 500 µm in diameter and fully steerable, useful for navigation and biopsy.

From Acoustofluidics and Acoustic Microfluidics to Acoustic nanofluidics

It is now possible to freely manipulate fluids at the nanoscale using acoustics. We are looking at ways to manipulate attoliter to femtoliter volumes of fluid in droplet form in nanostructures without concern for evaporation, and without the use of surrounding oil. We are also looking at extremely high pressures from new forms of acoustic streaming due to interference between the nanostructures as the acoustic waves propagate through. Applications that are anticipated include acoustophoresis and, molecular separation, deagglomeration, and analysis. Our paper in Advanced Functional Materials reports the initial results.

Flow reversal using acoustic waves

Fluid films exposed to acoustic waves reverse direction not once but twice: submicron films have now been found to flow with the acoustic wave, while slightly thicker films flow against it, and even thicker films flow with the acoustic wave again. The peculiar behavior is explored in our paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A here.

Vibration-Induced Deagglomeration and Shear-Induced Alignment of Carbon Nanotubes in Air

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are widely known to agglomerate into difficult to separate, 10–100 μm bundles, even after suspension in solution. Here, a dry and rapid (≈10 s) method to deagglomerate bulk, unbound multi-walled CNT bundles due to surface acoustic waves (SAW) in a piezoelectric substrate is reported for the first time in Advanced Functional Materials  here.

Monolithic Phononic Crystals with a Surface Acoustic Band Gap

We theoretically and experimentally demonstrate the existence of complete surface
acoustic wave band gaps in surface phonon-polariton phononic crystals, in a completely
monolithic structure. The manuscript appears in Physical Review Letters here.

New students, staff, and visitors

We regularly receive visiting researchers from universities and industry from around the world, and welcome highly motivated PhD student applications via UC San Diego.

At this time we have no postdoctoral opportunities. 

Funding sources

We are grateful for funding support from the following organizations: