Z. Hugh Fan
Ph.D., 1994, University of Alberta
Research Description: Dr. Fan’s research interests include microfluidics, BioMEMS (Biomedical MicroElectroMechanical Systems), sensors, and bioengineering. His research focus is to develop microfluidics and BioMEMS technologies and apply them to biological applications. Microfluidics is promising to reach the holy grail of “lab-on-a-chip”. In analogy to shrinking a computer from the size of a room in the 1950s to a laptop today, instruments for chemical and biological analyses may be miniaturized using modern microfabrication technology. Potential applications of the portable, miniaturized devices may include point-of-care testing (e.g., in emergency rooms), environmental monitoring, and detection of biowarfare agents in the field.
PIRE Project Description: The goal of the project is to develop microfluidic devices for immunological assays (e.g., Western blotting), which is an extensively-used analytical technique for protein analysis (e.g., medical diagnostics). Proteins will be separated in a gel matrix, transferred and then detected by antibodies specific to the target protein. Additional studies will be on microfabrication, valve designs , and microscale flow behaviors of particles/fluids in a microdevice. Integration of different components to realize the overall potential of the translational research will be emphasized. These efforts will be in collaboration with University of Tokyo in Japan, as well as other institutions in Japan and France.