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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

On-chip Electronics and Microfluidics for Real-Time Medical Diagnostics


Communications Technology Laboratory, Radio Frequency Division

RO# Location
50.67.22.B8281 Boulder, CO 80305

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Booth, James C. 303.497.7900
Orloff, Nathan Daniel 303.497.4938


Healthcare is a driving force in the global economy. In 2014 alone, US healthcare spending grew 5.3 % to exceed $3.0 trillion. That is nearly $10K per person, putting the total bill at nearly 18% of the US Gross Domestic Product. Many diagnostic assays, such as human leukocyte antigen testing, use the temperature dependence of different analytes as a diagnostic tool. For example, oligonucleotides of different lengths have different melt temperatures. To potentially decrease these swelling costs, we have developed a chip-based electromagnetic measurement technique from 100 Hz to 100 GHz (and potentially up to 300 GHz), which opens new research opportunities at the interface between bioengineering and physics. The Associate will perform high frequency measurement, learn microfluidic fabrication, measure novel materials (proteins, biomolecules, and nanoparticles), and gain hands-on experience with on-wafer calibrations. This project will begin with exploring the potential use of on-chip electronics to detect and measure melt temperatures of oligonucleotides, and eventually deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), to test potential applications in personalized medicine and real-time diagnostics. Electrical-based detection may even prove useful for real-time quality assurance in the manufacture of emerging protein-based therapies.



Booth JC, Orloff N, et al: Quantitative Permittivity Measurements of Nanoliter Liquid Volumes in Microfluidic Channels to 40 GHz, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement 59(12): 3279, 2010


Microelectronics; Microfluidics; Microelectronics; Diagnostics; Assays; Biology; Physics; Terahertz;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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