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Dan Ariely
Walter Bender
Steve Benton
Bruce Blumberg
V. Michael Bove, Jr.
Cynthia Breazeal
Ike Chuang
Chris Csikszentmihályi
Glorianna Davenport
Judith Donath
Neil Gershenfeld
Hiroshi Ishii
Joe Jacobson
Andy Lippman
Tod Machover
John Maeda
Scott Manalis
Marvin Minsky
William J. Mitchell
Seymour Papert
Joe Paradiso
Sandy Pentland
Rosalind Picard
Mitchel Resnick
Deb Roy
Chris Schmandt
Ted Selker
Barry Vercoe

Scott Manalis

Scott Manalis

A significant research challenge facing us is how can we develop a well-defined interface between the aqueous biological environment and silicon, the primary material of the digital world?

Toward this end, we are developing real-time and quantitative measurement techniques for extracting information from biological systems. We do this by microfabricating devices for novel molecular detection schemes and applying them to biomolecular recognition. To meet this challenge, we join methodologies from physics, device engineering, chemistry, and molecular biology.

The ultimate goal is to provide an instantaneous readout of a multi-dimensional parameter space, which is critical for furthering our understanding of biological processes, and, ultimately, for advancing our health. Many critical characteristics of living systems can be discovered by monitoring parameters such as DNA sequence variation, gene expression, and protein interactions as a function of time, physiological response, and disease. However, the sample preparation and large sample volumes required for the detection process, coupled with the difficulty of scaling current methodology, severely limits the rate at which data are acquired. As a result, the labor and cost required to collect even a single parameter set represent a substantial bottleneck.

Currently, our research efforts focus on the development of mechanical and electrical detectors for monitoring the interactions of specific biomolecules; the real-time detection of DNA, using silicon field-effect detection; and the integration of mechanical and electrical detectors with microfluidics.

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