Karen Cheung

Karen C. Cheung received the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, in 1998 and 2002, respectively. From 2002 to 2005, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. She joined the University of British Columbia in 2006.




Yan Li

Dr. Yan Li’s research focuses on the microsystems with the integration of multiple components (i.e., electrical, electrochemical, fluid) for biomedical applications. In 2015, Yan joined in the university of British Columbia as a postdoctoral research fellow and is currently focusing on piezoelectric inkjet systems for cell printing, microfluidic graphene systems for biosensing as well as graphene neural interfaces. Yan received his B.S. degree from Xidian University (Xi’an, China) and M.Eng. degree from Peking University (Beijing, China); and the Ph.D. degree from IMEC & KU Leuven-University of Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) in 2015, where he developed a microfluidic system for energy harvesting and biosensing. Before UBC, he also worked in the retinal prosthesis project in Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Science (Shenzhen, China).


Loic Laplatine

Dr. Loic Laplatine’s research is focused on industrial technology transfer of biosensing techniques for medicine and environmental monitoring. His research interests include silicon photonics, optical microscopy, microfluidics and instrumentation. His current work is geared toward the proof-of-concept of an inexpensive disposable cartridge biochips that can be analyzed by a portable readout device to simultaneously measure the concentration of multiple analytes within tiny samples of physiological fluids or water. This project funded by a 2-year MITACS Accelerate grant is a collaboration between the Bio-Medical Micro Devices laboratory and the Photonics Research laboratory at UBC, and Luxmux, an industrial partner in Calgary. He also works on BioMEMS which reproduce the physiological hypoxic conditions (i.e. oxygen level) found in real tumors on 3D cell spheroids grown in vitro. He is mainly focusing on experiments based on two-photon and confocal microscopy to quantitatively analyze the spheroids response over time.

In 2014, he defended a Ph. D. in instrumental development for Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) microscopy at CEA Grenoble, France. His research led to a ten-fold improvement in image quality compared with previous commercial or research-based devices. This project was led in collaboration with Horiba Jobin Yvon and Prestodiag and targeted applications in the health and food safety industries. In 2010, he defended a MSc in physics engineering at INSA Toulouse, France. His main project was the development of a new immobilization method to image yeasts and Aspergillus spores by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) at LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse, France. He also worked on a novel label-free biosensing technique based on the diffraction of Moleculary Imprinted Polymer (MIP) in collaboration with Innopsys.


Samantha Grist

Samantha is passionate about learning, solving problems, and working on interdisciplinary research. Her research focuses on using microfluidics to recreate the microenvironment of cells within tumours during in vitro experiments such as drug screening. Specifically, she uses 3-D cell culture and on-chip oxygen control to recreate chronic and time-varying low oxygen levels that can exist in tumours and influence cell behaviour and drug response. Samantha has also integrated optical oxygen sensors, measured using fluorescence microscopy, into these environments as well as worked on novel imaging protocols to improve data analysis from 3-D cell cultures. In addition to her thesis work, Samantha has designed and tested optical biosensors using silicon nanophotonics technology combined with microfluidics. Samantha has completed her PhD work and will receive her degree in November 2016.


Jonas Flückiger

Jonas is defending his PhD thesis, entitled “Enhancing the Performance of Silicon Photonic Biosensors”, in September 2016. He is a Product Marketing Manager at Lumerical Solutions, Inc.


Enxiao Luan

Research Supervisor: Dr. Karen Cheung, Dr. Lukas Chrostowski
Research topic and description: Monitoring Water Quality Using Silicon Photonics Sensors and Technologies.
The presence of pesticides in water monitoring is important for applications in drinking water and for monitoring agricultural run-off. This project investigates the design of a SOI chip with waveguides featuring strong fluid interaction to detect the effective index change caused by pesticide molecule on the silicon photonic sensor.
Research interests: Bio-Sensors, Optical Sensors, Microfluidics
Previous Degrees and Universities: M.Eng. In Biomedical Engineering at Harbin Institute of Technology, China; B.Sc. In Biotechnology at Harbin Institute of Technology, China


There are no Master of Engineering Students working at the lab right now.


Yichuan Wang

Yichuan is an enthusiastic undergraduate student from UBC Mechanical Engineering department. He is currently working as a research assistant in the Bio-Medical Micro Devices Laboratory and focusing on the Hydrodynamic Response of the cells in Piezoelectric Inkjet Nozzles.
Yichuan joined UBC in 2015 as a Cape Breton University International Entrance Scholarship holder. He is also interested in Photography and Plastic Modelling.


Anthony Hsu

Anthony is a third year UBC mechanical engineering student entering the mechatronics specialization. He is interested in robotics and automation, but also excited about the biomedical field and new medical technologies. Anthony is a Fall Co-op Research Assistant, working on achieving more consistent cell distribution when printing cell solutions with piezoelectric dispense capillaries.





Josiah To

Josiah completed his MASc thesis, entitled “Developing a novel heterogeneous three electrode system for a PDMS-based microfluidic electrochemical sensor”, in 2015. He is now a medical student at Chicago Medical School.


Ali Ahmadi

Ali Ahmadi completed his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tehran in 2004. In 2007, he completed his MSc degree from the same university after having researched fluid properties in spray and droplet breakup. In May 2011, he completed his PhD degree in the School of Engineering at the University of British Columbia with the research focus on the Digital Microfluidic systems. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Sustainable Design Engineering at the University of Prince Edward Island.


Adam Noel

Adam Noel is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada, working with Prof. Dimitrios Makrakis at the University of Ottawa and with Prof. Abdelhakim Hafid at the Université de Montréal in Montréal, Canada.


Anika Meng

Summer Research Student, 2016


Bruce Jingwu Hou

Summer Exchange Research Student, 2016


Alexander Ding

Alexander Y. Ding was a visiting student  (2015, 2016) from the University of Toronto. His research interests include digital systems, computer architecture, and bioinformatics. He previously worked on an image analysis program and is currently developing software for extracting spheroid information. Alexander will be interning at Microsemi (San Jose, CA) in 2016-2017. In his free time, Alexander enjoys playing the piano, travelling, and listening to K-pop music.


Daljeet Chahal

Daljeet completed his MASc in Biomedical Engineering in 2012. His thesis was entitled “Enhanced piezoelectric drop-on-demand cell dispensing through neutral buoyancy”. He is now a Resident Physician with Vancouver Coastal Health



MicroTAS 2016

Samantha Grist will give a podium presentation of our work at the MicroTAS 2016 conference in Dublin on October 10. Hope to see you there!


On-chip clearing of arrays of 3-D cell cultures and micro-tissues

Grist, Samantha, S. Soroush Nasseri, Tak Poon, Calvin Roskelley, and Karen C. Cheung. “On‐chip clearing of arrays of 3-D cell cultures and micro‐tissues”. Biomicrofluidics (American Institute of Physics), 2016. 10:044107. doi:10.1063/1.4959031 Three-dimensional (3-D) cell cultures are beneficial models for mimicking the complexities of in vivo tissues, especially in tumour studies where transport limitations can complicate […]


Modeling and Simulation of Molecular Communication Systems with a Reversible Adsorption Receiver

Yansha Deng, Adam Noel, Maged Elkashlan, Arumugam Nallanathan, Karen C Cheung arXiv preprint arXiv:1601.00681 In this paper, we present an analytical model for the diffusive molecular communication (MC) system with a reversible adsorption receiver in a fluid environment. The widely used concentration shift keying (CSK) is considered for modulation. The time- varying spatial distribution of […]


Rheological manipulation for improved reliability in inkjet printing of living cells

Eric Cheng, Haoran Yu, Ali Ahmadi, Karen C Cheung 2016 IEEE 29th International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), 784-787. In this paper, we investigated the effects of the rheological manipulation on the trajectory of suspended cells during inNjet printing using piezoelectrically actuated nozzles. Suspensions of MCF-7 cells in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and 10% w/v […]


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