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The Nanoscope: Big News in Small Science
Nanotechnology Research Highlights

3D-Printed Device Finds ‘Needle in a Haystack’ Cancer Cells by Removing the Hay

Microfludic Cell Trap

Finding a handful of cancer cells hiding among billions of blood cells in a patient sample can be like finding a needle in a haystack. In a new approach enabled by 3D-printed cell traps, researchers are removing the hay to expose the cancer cells.

Trapping the white blood cells – which are about the size of cancer cells – and filtering out smaller red blood cells leaves behind the tumor cells, which could then be used to diagnose the disease, potentially provide early warning of recurrence and enable research into the cancer metastasis process. The work, led by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, could advance the goal of personalized cancer treatment by allowing rapid and low-cost separation of tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream.

“Isolating circulating tumor cells from whole blood samples has been a challenge because we are looking for a handful of cancer cells mixed with billions of normal red and white blood cells,” said A. Fatih Sarioglu, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). “With this device, we can process a clinically-relevant volume of blood by capturing nearly all of the white blood cells and then filtering out the red blood cells by size. That leaves us with undamaged tumor cells that can be sequenced to determine the specific cancer type and the unique characteristics of each patient’s tumor.”

Tunable Optical Chip Paves Way for New Quantum Devices

Researchers created the first thermally tunable optical switch using a silicon carbide-on-insulator platform. The schematic image shows their concept for a quantum photonics integrated circuit chip that includes the circular microring resonators and microheaters reported in Optics Letters. The inset shows the temperature and electric field distributions at the cross-section of a microring resonator heated by a microheater.Researchers have created a silicon carbide (SiC) photonic integrated chip that can be thermally tuned by applying an electric signal. The approach could one day be used to create a large range of reconfigurable devices such as phase-shifters and tunable optical couplers needed for networking applications and quantum information processing.

Although most optical and computer chips are made of silicon, there is increasing interest in SiC because it exhibits better thermal, electrical and mechanical properties than silicon while also being biocompatible and operating at wavelengths from the visible to infrared.  

In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Letters, researchers led by Ali Adibi from the Georgia Institute of Technology detail how they integrated a microheater and an optical device called a microring resonator onto a SiC chip. The accomplishment represents the first fully integrated and thermally tunable SiC optical switch that operates at near-infrared wavelengths.

Awards Alert

Doolittle Named as Joseph M. Pettit Professor

Alan Doolittle Alan Doolittle has been appointed as the Joseph M. Pettit Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), effective on September 1, 2019.

Doolittle is a proud, two-time Georgia Tech alumnus, earning his B.E.E. degree with highest honors in 1989 and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1996. After graduating with his doctorate, he worked as a research engineer in ECE for five years and then joined the School's academic faculty in 2001. Doolittle leads the Advanced Semiconductor Technology Facility, which has an estimated equipment capitalization of $6 million

Read More Here

Ajeet Rohatgi Ajeet Rohatgi has been named as a recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This award is the highest given by IIT Kanpur to its alumni in recognition of their achievements. Rohatgi graduated from the Institute with his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1971.

Rohatgi is a Regents’ Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and he holds the John H. Weitnauer, Jr. Chair in the College of Engineering and is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. Rohatgi was chosen for this award for his academic and entrepreneurial excellence and for his exemplary contributions in the field of renewable energy and photovoltaic (PV) technology.


STEM Event | Superpowers of Nanotechnology

Sat, November 9, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway Northeast | Atlanta, GA 30307

Can Nanotechnology be engineered to give humans superpowers, cure diseases, or achieve immortality? Will it ever live up to the hype of science-fiction film and literature?

Join Georgia Tech faculty and staff at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum as we celebrate STEM Day with this free, public program to discuss these exciting possibilities and more!

Stick around after the panel discussion for a free, public screening of Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp at 2:00 pm!
Publication Alert

PMicroscope images show effervescent microneedles on a contraceptive skin patch. When applied to the skin, effervescent bubbles quickly separate the microneedles from the patch so that the patch can be removed after one minute. (Wei Li/Georgia Tech)rausnitz Lab: Microneedle Contraceptive Patch's Slow Release Mechanism Improves Delivery of Hormones over Time

The prototype contains 100 microneedles fabricated of a biodegradable polymer. The user affixes the patch to the skin for approximately one minute, during which the interstitial fluid between cells triggers a harmless effervescent chemical reaction that allows for the release of the polymer needles from the adhesive backing. 

Read the Research Article Here

Cleanroom Corner

Welcome to the Biocleanroom at the Marcus
Nanotechnology Building   


The Biocleanroom at IEN is a class 1000 cleanroom with a BSL-1 and  BSL-2 cabinet.


  • Scanning electron imaging for biological or non-conductive specimens
  • Biomolecular interaction analysis
  • Organic molecule analysis
  • Surface roughness and morphology analysis
  • Surface energy characterization
  • Centrifuge and low temperature freezer access

For Further Information and Training Contact

Erin C. Prowett


Click the Image below to visit the Biocleanroom website

Image of Woman in Biocleanroom with Text Listing Capablilities and Contatct Information

Nanotechnology Events
Informational Webinar: Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC) – A Regional Research Resource

November 22, 2019 |1:30PM - 2:30PM | Online Webinar

The Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC) is one of 16 members of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), a network of academic user facilities serving the needs of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology by providing state-of-the-art equipment, staff expertise, and training resources. SENIC assists researchers with a broad range of micro and nanofabrication and characterization projects, such as nanostructures, nanoelectronics, MEMS, biological/chemical sensors and systems, biomaterials, photonics, materials growth and synthesis.

This 30-minute webinar will provide an overview of NNCI and SENIC with a discussion of shared lab resources, external user services, and education/training programs followed by time for Q & A.

Who should attend: Faculty, scientists, engineers, researchers, and technical staff  from university, company, or government labs who use, or are interested in learning about, micro- and nano-scale fabrication and characterization as part of their research efforts.

Nano@Tech Fall 2019 Lineup

18th International Meeting on Chemical Sensors IMCS 2020

Montreal, CANADA | May 10-14th ,2020

“The Committees for North America, Asia, and Europe for the International Meeting on Chemical Sensors” invite you to IMCS 2020, to be held in Montreal during May 2020. This will be the 18th in a series of successful meetings for researchers, professionals, and business leaders to see the state of the art in sensors for gases, liquids, biologicals, for applications in health and environment, wearables and fixed infrastructure, as well as wired and wireless.

Read the full details and find contact information here.

Copyright © 2019 Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology
All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology
Georgia Institute for Technology

Marcus Nanotechnology Building
345 Ferst Drive | Atlanta GA | 30332

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