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Xinyu Liu

Xinyu Liu

Assistant Professor

Chwang-Seto Faculty Scholar

Ph.D. University of Toronto

M.Eng. Harbin Institute of Technology

B.Eng. Harbin Institute of Technology

Macdonald Engineering Building, Rm 155 Map

External Website

514-398-1526 [office]

Xinyu [dot] liu [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)

Research Interests

Primary Research Theme: Bioengineering

Secondary Research Themes: Design and ManufacturingDynamics and Control

Research Group/Lab : Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory

My research interests are in robotics, MEMS/NEMS (Micro- or Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems), and applied microfluidics (also referred to as Lab-on-a-Chip technologies), with a strong focus on bio-oriented applications. Specifically, my previous and current research has been focused on three major directions: i) developing microrobotic systems and microdevices for mechanical manipulation and characterization of biological cells; ii) addressing interesting biological/biomedical questions (e.g., large-scale testing of mitochondrial proteins and detection of oocyte defects for assisted reproduction) using high-throughput automated cell manipulation and characterization; and iii) developing microfluidic devices and systems for performing point-of-care medical diagnostics and studying biological cells and organisms (e.g., C. elegans).

Under a unified theme of Micro and Nanosystems Engineering for Life Sciences, my research group is investigating the design, manufacturing, and application of novel micro/nano devices and systems to address emerging issues in biology and medicine. Leveraging our unique multidisciplinary capabilities, our research projects bridge technological advances in robotics, bioMEMS, biomaterials, and biochemical analysis, with both fundamental biological research and clinical diagnosis/treatment needs. The ultimate goal of my research program is to invent/innovate enabling engineering technologies to fundamentally change the ways how biological research is performed and how health care is practiced, in terms of higher throughput, higher success rates, lower cost, and better accessibility.

Current Research Projects

  • Development of microrobotic systems with integrated MEMS tools to manipulate biological cells (e.g., mouse and zebrafish embryos) and organisms (e.g., C. elegans and drosophila) and characterize their mechanical and electrophysiological properties
  • MEMS/NEMS design, microfabrication, and experimentation

-    Silicon-based MEMS for micro-/nanomanipulation and material characterization

-    Polymer-based MEMS for single cell analysis and medical diagnostics

-    Paper-based MEMS for low-cost applications

-    Simple, low-cost NEMS for diagnostics and energy applications

  • Applied microfluidics

-    Polymer (PDMS) based microfluidics for studying the nematode C. elegans

-    Paper-based microfluidics for low-cost, point-of-care diagnostics

-    3D cell culture in microchannels

Most Significant Publications

  1. X.Y. Liu, M. Mwangi, X.J. Li, M. O’Brien, and G.M. Whitesides, “Paper-based piezoresistive MEMS sensors,” Lab on a Chip, Vol. 11, No. 13, pp. 2189–2196, 2011.
  2.  X.Y. Liu*, R. Fernandes*, M. Gertsenstein, A. Perumalsamy, I. Lai, M. Chi, K.H. Moley, E. Greenblatt, I. Jurisica, R.F. Casper, Y. Sun, and A. Jurisicova, “Automated microinjection of recombinant BCL-X into mouse zygotes enhances embryo development,” PLoS ONE, Vol. 6, No. 7, e21687 (10pp), 2011. (*equal contributions)
  3. X.Y. Liu, Z. Lu, and Y. Sun, “Orientation control of biological cells under inverted microscopy,” IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, ASAP, DOI: 10.1109/TMECH. 2010.2056380, 2010.
  4. X.Y. Liu, R. Fernandes, A. Jurisicova, R.F. Casper, and Y. Sun, “In-situ mechanical characterization of mouse oocytes using a cell holding device,” Lab on a Chip, Vol. 10, No. 16, pp. 2154-2161, 2010.
  5. W.H. Wang*, X.Y. Liu*, D. Gelinas, B. Ciruna, and Y. Sun, “A fully automated robotic system for microinjection of zebrafish embryos,” PLoS ONE, Vol. 2, No. 9, e862 (7pp), 2007. (*equal contributions)


MECH 261 Measurement Lab
MECH 262 Statistics and Measurement Lab

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