Ian Papautsky, Ph.D., Richard and Loan Hill Professor, joined the UIC Bioengineering department and the UIC Cancer Center in August 2016. He is the co-director of the National Science Foundation’s Center for Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics (CADMIM) and leads the Papautsky Laboratory Microfluidic BioMicroSystems. Papautsky’s research has attracted significant support from diverse funding sources including NIH, NSF, and industry. He has multiple issued and pending patents as well, and has received numerous awards and honors, including the Ohio Bioscience 30 in Their 30s award in 2007 and the Excellence and Service Award from the International Society for Optical Engineering in 2005 and 2007. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Chemical Society. Papautsky has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed archival journal publications that have been cited more than 5,000 times.
The manipulation of fluids in channels with dimensions of a few millimeters or less — microfluidics — has emerged as a new field. Microfluidics has the potential to influence areas from biomedical engineering to chemical synthesis to biological analysis. But the field is still in the early stage of development, with many problems to be addressed. The solutions to these problems will require imagination and ingenuity. One of such problems is mixing, because microfluidic flows are predominantly laminar — think blubbery and raspberry syrups flowing next to each other in a tube! Another one of these problems is filtration (or un-mixing) of fluid samples — think extracting raisins from raisin syrup. These two techniques are critically important for a wide range of applications (breakfast aside), ranging from mixing of medications for drug delivery to blood fractionation for cancer diagnostics. The Papautsky Lab students and postdocs work to apply the interdisciplinary field of microfluidics to solve problems in life sciences and biomedicine. The BEST fellow will first learn how to design and fabricate microfluidic devices using 3D printing and visualize microflows with colorimetry and fluorescent microscopy. The fellow will then apply these skills to demonstrating microfluidic mixing and un-mixing.