Nathan Swami

Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Chemistry
Room 201B, Wilsdorf Hall


B.S. ​Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, 1991

M.S. ​University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1993

Ph.D. ​University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1998

Post-Doc Senior Scientist at Clinical MicroSensors Inc, a Caltech start-up focused on DNA sensors, 1999-2000

Principal Scientist at Motorola Labs, MEMS & Microfluidics 2000-2003

Biosystems often exhibit subpopulations with phenotypic heterogeneity, as part of their adaptation strategy to genetic and environmental influences. Stratifying this heterogeneity can lead to precision medicine-based approaches for disease diagnostics and for screening subjects towards advanced therapeutics. o quantitatively characterize this heterogeneity over multiple scales (cellular aggregates to cells to extracellular biomarkers), our research group is focused on developing microsystems for biophysical separation and bioanalytical detection. Some of the chief enablers in our group include: (1) soft imprint lithography-based patterning of soft materials as device platforms for enabling microfluidics and cell-laden hydrogel scaffolds; (2)  electrochemical analysis in microfluidic and droplet systems for biomolecular sensing; and (3) label-free single-cell impedance and deformability-based cytometry and sorting, for quantifying the heterogeneity of stem cells, tumor cells, microbials and extracellular vesicles. In this manner, through coupling complex biological samples to microfluidic devices, circuits and signal analysis systems, we seek to impact emerging biomanufacturing approaches for regenerative medicine, as well as detection systems within point-of-care and resource-poor settings for personalizing medical diagnostics and therapeutics.

Representative Publications:

A. Rohani, J.H. Moore, Y-H. Su, V. Stagnaro†, C.A. Warren, N.S. Swami*, “Single-cell electro-phenotyping for rapid assessment of Clostridium difficile heterogeneity under vancomycin treatment at sub-MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) levels”, Sensors & Actuators B: Chemical (2018), 276, 472-480.

W. Varhue, L. Langman, M. Kelly-Goss, M. Lataillade, K. L. Brayman, S. Peirce-Cottler, N. S. Swami*, “Deformability-based microfluidic separation of pancreatic islets from exocrine acinar tissue for transplant applications”; Lab Chip (2017) 17, 3682 – 3691.

Rohani, A.; Moore, J.; Kashatus, J.; Sesaki, H.; Kashatus, D.; Swami, N. S., “Label-free quantification of intracellular mitochondrial dynamics using dielectrophoresis”;  Anal Chem (2017) 89 (11), pp 5757–5764.

A. Rohani, B. J. Sanghavi+, A. Salahi, K. –T. Liao+, C.-F. Chou, N.S. Swami*, “Frequency-selective electrokinetic enrichment of biomolecules in physiological media based on electrical double-layer polarization”; Nanoscale (2017), 9, 12124 – 12131.!divAbstract

Full List of Publications:


Awards and Honors