Nanotechnology-based breakthroughs in Biology and Energy
My research will focus on nanotechnology-based approaches to understand and control fundamental electronic and mechanical properties of biological materials for advancing both biomedical and energy sciences. I am particularly interested in interfacing biology with functional electronics to yield breakthroughs in drug development, to enable new avenues of powering biomedical devices, and to probe biological changes in a truly non-invasive way. For my doctoral research, I developed a novel method for understanding charge transport at nanoscale metal-oxide interfaces with the use of scanning probe techniques and extended that knowledge to understanding and controlling polarization switching in ferroelectric devices. Ferroelectrics are highly efficient mechanical couplers and are ideal candidates for interfacing with biology for a number of applications. As a postdoctoral fellow, I developed new techniques to measure tight junction adhesion forces at piconewton resolution. With innovative electrode designs, I developed a novel bioimpedance system to track changes in blood-brain barrier dynamics – in-real time – while modulating ion transport gateways. As a Faculty Research Associate, I am interfacing optoelectronic devices with the peripheral nervous system for optogenetic control of nerve signals. With my background and skills, I am uniquely positioned to launch an interdisciplinary, collaborative Nanotechnology in Biology and Energy program that incorporates the expertise of both scientists and engineers.
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