Diego Huyke received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering, respectively, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017) and Stanford University (2019). His research includes the development of devices to study physics at the micro-scale. His current projects are fast microfluidic mixers and red blood cell shear modulus measurements in a microfluidic device. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) and a Stanford University Mechanical Engineering Fellowship.

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Organizer, Bay Area Microfluidics Network (2021 - Present)

Education & Certifications

  • MS, Stanford University, Mechanical Engineering (2019)
  • BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mechanical Engineering (2017)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


All Publications

  • Millisecond timescale reactions observed via X-ray spectroscopy in a 3D microfabricated fused silica mixer. Journal of synchrotron radiation Huyke, D. A., Ramachandran, A., Ramirez-Neri, O., Guerrero-Cruz, J. A., Gee, L. B., Braun, A., Sokaras, D., Garcia-Estrada, B., Solomon, E. I., Hedman, B., Delgado-Jaime, M. U., DePonte, D. P., Kroll, T., Santiago, J. G. 2021; 28 (Pt 4): 1100-1113


    Determination of electronic structures during chemical reactions remains challenging in studies which involve reactions in the millisecond timescale, toxic chemicals, and/or anaerobic conditions. In this study, a three-dimensionally (3D) microfabricated microfluidic mixer platform that is compatible with time-resolved X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy (XAS and XES, respectively) is presented. This platform, to initiate reactions and study their progression, mixes a high flow rate (0.50-1.5 ml min-1) sheath stream with a low-flow-rate (5-90 l min-1) sample stream within a monolithic fused silica chip. The chip geometry enables hydrodynamic focusing of the sample stream in3D and sample widths as small as 5 m. The chip is also connected to a polyimide capillary downstream to enable sample stream deceleration, expansion, and X-ray detection. In this capillary, sample widths of 50 m are demonstrated. Further, convection-diffusion-reaction models of the mixer are presented. The models are experimentally validated using confocal epifluorescence microscopy and XAS/XES measurements of a ferricyanide and ascorbic acid reaction. The models additionally enable prediction of the residence time and residence time uncertainty of reactive species as well as mixing times. Residence times (from initiation of mixing to the point of X-ray detection) during sample stream expansion as small as 2.1 ± 0.3 ms are also demonstrated. Importantly, an exploration of the mixer operational space reveals a theoretical minimum mixing time of 0.91 ms. The proposed platform is applicable to the determination of the electronic structure of conventionally inaccessible reaction intermediates.

    View details for DOI 10.1107/S1600577521003830

    View details for PubMedID 34212873

  • Electric field-driven microfluidics for rapid CRISPR-based diagnostics and its application to detection of SARS-CoV-2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Ramachandran, A., Huyke, D. A., Sharma, E., Sahoo, M. K., Huang, C., Banaei, N., Pinsky, B. A., Santiago, J. G. 2020


    The rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world has revealed major gaps in our ability to respond to new virulent pathogens. Rapid, accurate, and easily configurable molecular diagnostic tests are imperative to prevent global spread of new diseases. CRISPR-based diagnostic approaches are proving to be useful as field-deployable solutions. In one basic form of this assay, the CRISPR-Cas12 enzyme complexes with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA). This complex becomes activated only when it specifically binds to target DNA and cleaves it. The activated complex thereafter nonspecifically cleaves single-stranded DNA reporter probes labeled with a fluorophore-quencher pair. We discovered that electric field gradients can be used to control and accelerate this CRISPR assay by cofocusing Cas12-gRNA, reporters, and target within a microfluidic chip. We achieve an appropriate electric field gradient using a selective ionic focusing technique known as isotachophoresis (ITP) implemented on a microfluidic chip. Unlike previous CRISPR diagnostic assays, we also use ITP for automated purification of target RNA from raw nasopharyngeal swab samples. We here combine this ITP purification with loop-mediated isothermal amplification and the ITP-enhanced CRISPR assay to achieve detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA (from raw sample to result) in about 35 min for both contrived and clinical nasopharyngeal swab samples. This electric field control enables an alternate modality for a suite of microfluidic CRISPR-based diagnostic assays.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2010254117

    View details for PubMedID 33148808

  • On the competition between mixing rate and uniformity in a coaxial hydrodynamic focusing mixer. Analytica chimica acta Huyke, D. A., Ramachandran, A., Oyarzun, D. I., Kroll, T., DePonte, D. P., Santiago, J. G. 2020; 1103: 1–10


    Fast microfluidic mixers for use with line-of-sight integrating detection schemes pose unique challenges. Such detectors typically cannot discriminate signal from slow moving (e.g. near internal walls) and fast-moving portions of the fluid stream. This convolves reaction rate dynamics with fluid flow residence time dynamics. Further, the small cross sections of typical three-dimensional hydrodynamic focusing devices lead to lower detection signals. The current study focuses on achieving both small time scales of mixing and homogenous residence times. This is achieved by injecting sample through a center capillary and hydrodynamically focusing using a sheath flow within a tapered second capillary. The current design also features a third, larger coaxial capillary. The mixed stream flows into the large cross-section of this third capillary to decelerate and expand the stream by up to 14-fold to improve line-of-sight signal strength of reaction products. Hydrodynamic focusing, mixing, and expansion are studied using analytical and numerical models and also studied experimentally using a fluorescein-iodide quenching reaction. The experimentally validated models are used to explore trade-offs between mixing rate and uniformity. For the first time, this work presents detailed analysis of the Lagrangian time history of species transport during mixing inside coaxial capillaries to measure mixing nonuniformity. The mixing region enables order 100 mus mixing times and residence time widths of the same order (140 mus).

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.aca.2020.01.013

    View details for PubMedID 32081173

  • A system for the high-throughput measurement of the shear modulus distribution of human red blood cells. Lab on a chip Saadat, A. n., Huyke, D. A., Oyarzun, D. I., Escobar, P. V., Øvreeide, I. H., Shaqfeh, E. S., Santiago, J. G. 2020


    Reduced deformability of red blood cells (RBCs) can affect the hemodynamics of the microcirculation and reduce oxygen transport efficiency. It is also well known that reduced RBC deformability is a signature of various physical disorders, including sepsis, and that the primary determinant of RBC deformability is the membrane shear modulus. To measure the distribution of an individual's RBC shear modulus with high throughput, we a) developed a high-fidelity computational model of RBCs in confined microchannels to inform design decisions; b) created a novel experimental system combining microfluidic flow, imaging, and image analysis; and c) performed automated comparisons between measured quantities and numerical predictions to extract quantitative measures of the RBC shear modulus for each of thousands of cells. We applied our computational simulation platform to construct the appropriate deformability figure(s) of merit to quantify RBC stiffness based on an experimentally measured, steady-state cell shape in flow through a microchannel. In particular, we determined a shape parameter based on the second moment of the cell shape that is sensitive to the changes in the membrane stiffness and cell size. We then conducted microfluidic experiments and developed custom automated image processing codes to identify and track the position and shape of individual RBCs within micro-constrictions. The fabricated microchannels include a square cross-section imaging region (7 by 7 μm) and we applied order 10 kPa pressure differences to induce order 10 mm s-1 cell velocities. The combination of modeling, microfluidics, and imaging enables, for the first time, quantitative measurement of the shear moduli of thousands of RBCs in human blood samples. We demonstrate the high-throughput features by sensitive quantification of the changes in the distribution of RBC stiffness with aging. This combined measurement and computational platform is ultimately intended to diagnose blood cell disorders in patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/d0lc00283f

    View details for PubMedID 32648561