Honors & Awards

  • Bruce and Elizabeth BioX SIGF Fellow, BioX SIGF
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow, NSF

Education & Certifications

  • Master of Science, Stanford University, BIOE-MS (2015)
  • B.S., University of Texas at Austin, Biomedical Engineering (2013)

All Publications

  • Giant magnetoresistive sensor array for sensitive and specific multiplexed food allergen detection. Biosensors & bioelectronics Ng, E., Nadeau, K. C., Wang, S. X. 2016; 80: 359-365


    Current common allergen detection methods, including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and dip-stick methods, do not provide adequate levels of sensitivity and specificity for at-risk allergic patients. A method for performing highly sensitive and specific detection of multiple food allergens is thus imperative as food allergies are becoming increasingly recognized as a major healthcare concern, affecting an estimated 4% of the total population. We demonstrate first instance of sensitive and specific multiplexed detection of major peanut allergens Ara h 1 and Ara h 2, and wheat allergen Gliadin using giant magnetoresistive (GMR) sensor arrays. Commercialized ELISA kits for Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 report limits of detection (LODs) at 31.5ng/mL and 0.2ng/mL, respectively. In addition, the 96-well-based ELISA developed in-house for Gliadin was found to have a LOD of 40ng/mL. Our multiplexed GMR-based assay demonstrates the ability to perform all three assays on the same chip specifically and with sensitivities at LODs about an order of magnitude lower than those of 96-well-based ELISAs. LODs of GMR-based assays developed for Ara h 1, Ara h 2, and Gliadin were 7.0ng/mL, 0.2ng/mL, and 1.5ng/mL, respectively, with little to no cross-reactivity. These LODs are clinically important as some patients could react strongly against such low allergen levels. Given the limitations of current industrial detection technology, multiplexed GMR-based assays provide a method for highly sensitive and specific simultaneous detection of any combination of food-product allergens, thus protecting allergic patients from life-threatening events, including anaphylaxis, by unintentional consumption.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bios.2016.02.002

    View details for PubMedID 26859787

  • Multi-Dimensional Nanostructures for Microfluidic Screening of Biomarkers: From Molecular Separation to Cancer Cell Detection ANNALS OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING Ng, E., Chen, K., Hang, A., Syed, A., Zhang, J. X. 2016; 44 (4): 847-862


    Rapid screening of biomarkers, with high specificity and accuracy, is critical for many point-of-care diagnostics. Microfluidics, the use of microscale channels to manipulate small liquid samples and carry reactions in parallel, offers tremendous opportunities to address fundamental questions in biology and provide a fast growing set of clinical tools for medicine. Emerging multi-dimensional nanostructures, when coupled with microfluidics, enable effective and efficient screening with high specificity and sensitivity, both of which are important aspects of biological detection systems. In this review, we provide an overview of current research and technologies that utilize nanostructures to facilitate biological separation in microfluidic channels. Various important physical parameters and theoretical equations that characterize and govern flow in nanostructure-integrated microfluidic channels will be introduced and discussed. The application of multi-dimensional nanostructures, including nanoparticles, nanopillars, and nanoporous layers, integrated with microfluidic channels in molecular and cellular separation will also be reviewed. Finally, we will close with insights on the future of nanostructure-integrated microfluidic platforms and their role in biological and biomedical applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10439-015-1521-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000373741800002

    View details for PubMedID 26692080

  • Magneto-nanosensor platform for probing low-affinity protein-protein interactions and identification of a low-affinity PD-L1/PD-L2 interaction. Nature communications Lee, J., Bechstein, D. J., Ooi, C. C., Patel, A., Gaster, R. S., Ng, E., Gonzalez, L. C., Wang, S. X. 2016; 7: 12220-?


    Substantial efforts have been made to understand the interactions between immune checkpoint receptors and their ligands targeted in immunotherapies against cancer. To carefully characterize the complete network of interactions involved and the binding affinities between their extracellular domains, an improved kinetic assay is needed to overcome limitations with surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Here, we present a magneto-nanosensor platform integrated with a microfluidic chip that allows measurement of dissociation constants in the micromolar-range. High-density conjugation of magnetic nanoparticles with prey proteins allows multivalent receptor interactions with sensor-immobilized bait proteins, more closely mimicking natural-receptor clustering on cells. The platform has advantages over traditional SPR in terms of insensitivity of signal responses to pH and salinity, less consumption of proteins and better sensitivities. Using this platform, we characterized the binding affinities of the PD-1-PD-L1/PD-L2 co-inhibitory receptor system, and discovered an unexpected interaction between the two known PD-1 ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms12220

    View details for PubMedID 27447090

  • Microfluidic multiplexed partitioning enables flexible and effective utilization of magnetic sensor arrays. Lab on a chip Bechstein, D. J., Ng, E., Lee, J., Cone, S. G., Gaster, R. S., Osterfeld, S. J., Hall, D. A., Weaver, J. A., Wilson, R. J., Wang, S. X. 2015; 15 (22): 4273-4276


    We demonstrate microfluidic partitioning of a giant magnetoresistive sensor array into individually addressable compartments that enhances its effective use. Using different samples and reagents in each compartment enables measuring of cross-reactive species and wide dynamic ranges on a single chip. This compartmentalization technique motivates the employment of high density sensor arrays for highly parallelized measurements in lab-on-a-chip devices.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c5lc00953g

    View details for PubMedID 26395039

  • Micro Patterned Quantum Dots Excitation for Cellular Microarray Imaging BIOINSPIRED BIOINTEGRATED BIOENGINEERED PHOTONIC DEVICES III Bhave, G., Ng, E., Lee, Y., Zhang, J. X. 2015; 9341

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2083645

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353890300001

  • Microfluidic multiplexed partitioning enables flexible and effective utilization of magnetic sensor arrays LAB ON A CHIP Bechstein, D. J., Ng, E., Lee, J., Cone, S. G., Gaster, R. S., Osterfeld, S. J., Hall, D. A., Weaver, J. A., Wilson, R. J., Wang, S. X. 2015; 15 (22): 4273-4276

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c5lc00953g

    View details for Web of Science ID 000364072300003