Dr. Demirci is currently an associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, Canary Center Early Cancer Detection. Prior to his Stanford appointment, he was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology serving at the Division of Biomedical Engineering, Division of Infectious Diseases and Renal Division. He leads a group of 20+ researchers focusing on micro- and nano-scale technologies. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1999 as a James B. Angell Scholar (summa cum laude) from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his M.S. degree in 2001 in Electrical Engineering, M.S. degree in Management Science and Engineering in 2005 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2005, all from Stanford University.

The Demirci Bio-Acoustic MEMS in Medicine Labs (BAMM) laboratory specializes in applying micro- and nanoscale technologies to problems in medicine at the interface between micro/nanoscale engineering and medicine. We apply innovative technologies to clinical problems. Our major research theme focuses on creating new microfluidic technology platforms targeting broad applications in medicine. In this interdisciplinary space at the convergence of engineering, biology and materials science, our goal is to create novel technologies for disposable point-of-care (POC) diagnostics and monitoring of infectious diseases, cancer and controlling cellular microenvironment in nanoliter droplets for biopreservation and microscale tissue engineering applications. These applications are unified around our expertise to test the limits of cell manipulation by establishing microfluidic platforms to provide solutions to real world problems at the clinic.

Our lab creates technologies to manipulate cells in nanoliter volumes to enable solutions for real world problems in medicine including applications in infectious disease diagnostics and monitoring for global health, cancer early detection, cell encapsulation in nanoliter droplets for cryobiology, and bottom-up tissue engineering. His research interests involve applications of microfluidics and acoustics in medicine, especially: microfluidics for inexpensive, disposable CD4 counts and viral load for HIV in resource-constrained settings for global health problems; 3-D bioprinting and tissue models including 3-D cancer and neural cultures. Dr. Demirci has published over 80 peer reviewed publications in journals including PNAS, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Advanced Materials, Small, Trends in Biotechnology, Chemical Society Reviews and Lab-chip, over 150 conference abstracts and proceedings, 10+ book chapters, and an edited book. His work was highlighted in Wired Magazine, Nature Photonics, Nature Medicine, MIT Technology Review, Reuters Health News, Science Daily, AIP News, BioTechniques, and Biophotonics. His scientific work has been recognized by numerous national and international awards including the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2012), and the IEEE-EMBS Early Career Achievement Award (2012). He was selected as one of the world’s top 35 young innovators under the age of 35 (TR-35) by the MIT Technology Review. In 2004, he led a team that won the Stanford University Entrepreneur’s Challenge Competition and Global Start-up Competition in Singapore. His work has been translated to start-up companies including DxNow Inc. and KOEK Biotechnology.

Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Bright Futures Award, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham Research Institute (2013)
  • Sharktank Competition, American Epilepsy Foundation (2013)
  • Faculty Early Career Development Award, NSF (2012)
  • Early Career Achievement Award, IEEE-EMBS (2012)
  • Partners in Excellence Award, Partners Health Care (2011)
  • Coulter Translational Research Award, Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) (2011)
  • Engineering in Medicine and Biology Research Award for Translational Research, IEEE-Wyss Institute (2011)
  • Chinese Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation of China (2010)
  • The Outstanding Young Persons of the World, Junior Chamber International (JCI) (2009)
  • Nano-Biotechnology Award, National Science Council of Turkey and The Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (2007)
  • TR-35 Award-MIT, MIT Technology Review (2006)
  • Ministry of Education Award, Turkish Ministry of Education (2005)
  • Winner of Accenture Grand Prize, Singapore Business Plan Competition (2004)
  • 1st Place, BASES Entrepreneur’s Challenge Business Plan Competition, Stanford University (2004)
  • Outstanding Paper Award, Transactions on Ultrasonic, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE (2003)
  • Raymond William Barrow (RWB) Stephens Student Prize of Elsevier Science, Proceedings of Ultrasonic International (2001)
  • Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society, University of Michigan (1999)
  • Scholarship for Undergraduate Education, Turkish Ministry of Education (1996)
  • James B. Angell Scholar, University of Michigan (1999)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Co-founder and Scientific Advisor, DxNow Inc. (2013 - Present)
  • Co-founder and Scientific Advisor, Koek Biotech (2012 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Electrical Engineering (2005)
  • M.S., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Management Science and Engineering (2005)
  • M.S., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Electrical Engineering (2001)
  • B.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Electrical Engineering (1999)

2016-17 Courses

All Publications

  • Acoustic picoliter droplets for emerging applications in semiconductor industry and biotechnology JOURNAL OF MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS Demirci, U. 2006; 15 (4): 957-966
  • Droplet-based photoresist deposition APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Demirci, U. 2006; 88 (14)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.2191087

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236612000121

  • Femtoliter to picoliter droplet generation for organic polymer deposition using single reservoir ejector arrays IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING Demirci, U., Yaralioglu, G. G., Haeggstrom, E., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2005; 18 (4): 709-715
  • Picolitre acoustic droplet ejection by ferntosecond laser micromachined multiple-orifice membrane-based 2D ejector arrays ELECTRONICS LETTERS Demirci, U., Ozcan, A. 2005; 41 (22): 1219-1220
  • Picoliter droplets for spinless photoresist deposition REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS Demirci, U. 2005; 76 (6)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.1922867

    View details for Web of Science ID 000229962000094

  • Coherent array imaging using phased subarmys. Part II: Simulations and experimental results IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Johnson, J. A., Oralkan, O., Ergun, S., Demirci, U., Karaman, M., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2005; 52 (1): 51-64


    The basic principles and theory of phased subarray (PSA) imaging imaging provides the flexibility of reducing the number of front-end hardware channels between that of classical synthetic aperture (CSA) imaging--which uses only one element per firing event--and full-phased array (FPA) imaging-which uses all elements for each firing. The performance of PSA generally ranges between that obtained by CSA and FPA using the same array, and depends on the amount of hardware complexity reduction. For the work described in this paper, we performed FPA, CSA, and PSA imaging of a resolution phantom using both simulated and experimental data from a 3-MHz, 3.2-cm, 128-element capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducer (CMUT) array. The simulated system point responses in the spatial and frequency domains are presented as a means of studying the effects of signal bandwidth, reconstruction filter size, and subsampling rate on the PSA system performance. The PSA and FPA sector-scanned images were reconstructed using the wideband experimental data with 80% fractional bandwidth, with seven 32-element subarrays used for PSA imaging. The measurements on the experimental sector images indicate that, at the transmit focal zone, the PSA method provides a 10% improvement in the 6-dB lateral resolution, and the axial point resolution of PSA imaging is identical to that of FPA imaging. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of PSA image was 58.3 dB, 4.9 dB below that of the FPA image, and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) is reduced by 10%. The simulated and experimental test results presented in this paper validate theoretical expectations and illustrate the flexibility of PSA imaging as a way to exchange SNR and frame rate for simplified front-end hardware.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226812800007

    View details for PubMedID 15742562

  • Acoustically actuated flextensional SixNy and single-crystal silicon 2-D micromachined ejector arrays IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING Demirci, U., Yaralioglu, G. G., Haeggstrom, E., Percin, G., Ergun, S., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2004; 17 (4): 517-524
  • Forward-viewing CMUT arrays for medical Imaging IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Demirci, U., Ergun, A. S., Oralkan, O., Karaman, M., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2004; 51 (7): 887-895


    This paper reports the design and testing of forward-viewing annular arrays fabricated using capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) technology. Recent research studies have shown that CMUTs have broad frequency bandwidth and high-transduction efficiency. One- and two-dimensional CMUT arrays of various sizes already have been fabricated, and their viability for medical imaging applications has been demonstrated. We fabricated 64-element, forward-viewing annular arrays using the standard CMUT fabrication process and carried out experiments to measure the operating frequency, bandwidth, and transmit/receive efficiency of the array elements. The annular array elements, designed for imaging applications in the 20 MHz range, had a resonance frequency of 13.5 MHz in air. The immersion pulse-echo data collected from a plane reflector showed that the devices operate in the 5-26 MHz range with a fractional bandwidth of 135%. The output pressure at the surface of the transducer was measured to be 24 kPa/V. These values translate into a dynamic range of 131.5 dB for 1-V excitation in 1-Hz bandwidth with a commercial low noise receiving circuitry. The designed, forward-viewing annular CMUT array is suitable for mounting on the front surface of a cylindrical catheter probe and can provide Doppler information for measurement of blood flow and guiding information for navigation through blood vessels in intravascular ultrasound imaging.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000222678000018

    View details for PubMedID 15301009

  • Phased subarray imaging for low-cost, wideband coherent array imaging 2003 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Johnson, J. A., Oralkan, O., Ergun, A. S., Demirci, U., Karaman, M., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2003: 1875-1878
  • 2D acoustically actuated micromachined droplet ejector array 2003 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Demirci, U., Yaralioglu, G. G., Haeggstrom, E., Percin, G., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2003: 1983-1986
  • Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers: Next-generation arrays for acoustic imaging? IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Oralkan, O., Ergun, A. S., Johnson, J. A., Karaman, M., Demirci, U., Kaviani, K., Lee, T. H., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2002; 49 (11): 1596-1610


    Piezoelectric materials have dominated the ultrasonic transducer technology. Recently, capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) have emerged as an alternative technology offering advantages such as wide bandwidth, ease of fabricating large arrays, and potential for integration with electronics. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the viability of CMUTs for ultrasound imaging. We present the first pulse-echo phased array B-scan sector images using a 128-element, one-dimensional (1-D) linear CMUT array. We fabricated 64- and 128-element 1-D CMUT arrays with 100% yield and uniform element response across the arrays. These arrays have been operated in immersion with no failure or degradation in performance over the time. For imaging experiments, we built a resolution test phantom roughly mimicking the attenuation properties of soft tissue. We used a PC-based experimental system, including custom-designed electronic circuits to acquire the complete set of 128 x 128 RF A-scans from all transmit-receive element combinations. We obtained the pulse-echo frequency response by analyzing the echo signals from wire targets. These echo signals presented an 80% fractional bandwidth around 3 MHz, including the effect of attenuation in the propagating medium. We reconstructed the B-scan images with a sector angle of 90 degrees and an image depth of 210 mm through offline processing by using RF beamforming and synthetic phased array approaches. The measured 6-dB lateral and axial resolutions at 135 mm depth were 0.0144 radians and 0.3 mm, respectively. The electronic noise floor of the image was more than 50 dB below the maximum mainlobe magnitude. We also performed preliminary investigations on the effects of crosstalk among array elements on the image quality. In the near field, some artifacts were observable extending out from the array to a depth of 2 cm. A tail also was observed in the point spread function (PSF) in the axial direction, indicating the existence of crosstalk. The relative amplitude of this tail with respect to the mainlobe was less than -20 dB.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000179224100016

    View details for PubMedID 12484483

  • Medical imaging using capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer arrays ULTRASONICS Johnson, J., Oralkan, O., Demirci, U., Ergun, S., Karaman, M., Khuri-Yakub, P. 2002; 40 (1-8): 471-476


    We are investigating the use of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (cMUT's) for use in medical imaging. We propose an ultrasound probe architecture designed to provide volumetric ultrasound imaging from within an endoscope channel. A complete automated experimental system has been implemented for testing the imaging performance of cMUT arrays. This PC-based system includes custom-designed circuit boards, a software interface, and resolution test phantoms. We have already fabricated 1D and 2D cMUT arrays, and tested the pulse-echo imaging characteristics of 1D arrays. Beamforming and image formation algorithms that aim to reduce the complexity of data acquisition hardware are tested via numerical simulations and using real data acquired from our system.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000176648000083

    View details for PubMedID 12159985

  • Broadband capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers ranging from 10 kHz to 60 mHz for imaging arrays and more 2002 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Ergun, A. S., Huang, Y., Cheng, C. H., Oralkan, O., Johnson, J., Jagannathan, H., Demirci, U., Yaralioglu, G. G., Karaman, M., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2002: 1039-1043
  • Fabrication and characterization of 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) arrays for 2-dimensional and volumetric ultrasonic imaging OCEANS 2002 MTS/IEEE CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION, VOLS 1-4, CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS Ergun, A. S., Cheng, C. H., Demirci, U., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2002: 2361-2367
  • An ultrasonic volumetric scanner for image-guided surgery CARS 2001: COMPUTER ASSISTED RADIOLOGY AND SURGERY Johnson, J., Oralkan, O., Kaviani, K., Demirci, U., Karaman, M., Khuri-Yakub, P. 2001; 1230: 187-192
  • Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer arrays for medical imaging: Experimental results 2001 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS, VOLS 1 AND 2 Demirci, U., Oralkan, O., Johnson, J. A., Ergun, A. S., Karaman, M., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2001: 957-960