Don L. DeVoe
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Associate Chair of Research
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park
3139 Glenn L. Martin Hall
There is a growing need for new tools capable of probing biological systems at the molecular level. Enhanced sensitivity, specificity, dynamic range and throughput for the quantitative study of complex molecular and cellular populations, enabling accurate and precise determination of the dynamic concentrations of cellular constituents, are necessary for continued progress in systems biology. Novel technologies offering improved analysis of multiple transcripts, proteins, or metabolites within samples ranging from tissues to single cells, together with new chemical and physical probes and associated detection mechanisms, are critical to expanding our understanding of the roles molecular networks play in systems biology and related biological sciences. Dr. DeVoe’s research focuses on leveraging the unique properties and capabilities of microfluidics technology to realize new devices and systems to address these issues with the goal of advancing fundamental biological knowledge and contributing to improvements in human health.
A central research theme of the Maryland MEMS and Microfluidics Laboratory is the multi-scale integration of nanostructured surfaces and components within microfluidic systems to achieve significant improvements in analytical sensitivity and throughput, and to realize novel capabilities for detecting, manipulating, and harnessing molecular interactions within lab-on-a-chip platforms. The group focuses on systems where microfluidics technology enables unique capabilities for the bottom-up formation of nanostructured elements, employing self-assembly and other in situ fabrication methods to realize nanofabricated components which would be difficult or impossible to achieve without the use of microfluidics. Current application areas include rapid and ultrasensitive molecular analysis from complex protein samples, biopolymer detection using artificial cell membranes, and nanoparticle drug encapsulation enabled by microfluidic-directed liposome production.