Leyla Esfandiari | Departments of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and Biomedical, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Esfandiari recently joined the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati as an assistant professor with dual appointment in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. She completed her doctoral degree in Bioengineering from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Esfandiari has a multidisciplinary research background in development of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) for studying neurogenesis, nano-surface chemistry and development of molecular biosensors. At UC, she is leading the Integrative BioSensing Laboratory with the main focus on design and development of miniaturized biosensors and bio-platforms for point-of-care (POC) medical diagnostics, preventive and therapeutic medicine.
Rapid, sensitive, portable and robust detection of biomolecules is of significant interest in a range of diverse health-related applications such as screening for oncogenes in cancer, drug screening in pharmaceutical industry, pathogen microbe identification in food and water safety, paternity test in forensic science and detection of bio-warfare agent in homeland security. However, the majority of the conventional detection methods are relying on tedious sample preparation techniques, target amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme and fluorescent labeling, or sophisticated/bulky instrumentation. To address these shortcomings, Dr. Esfandiari’s research group is utilizing nanotechnology and microfabrication techniques to develop handheld, user-friendly and cost-effective diagnostic devices which could display the accurate results in minutes.
Additionally, she is interested in design and implementation of bio-platforms for investigating the effect of quantitatively controlled applied cues on various cell types to study the cell signaling pathways. Studying the biological assemblies under controlled heterogeneous environmental cues is crucial for understanding tissue functions and ultimately the organ system. The systematic investigation of basic biology under controlled applied forces has potential application in preventive, therapeutic, and regenerative medicine.