James J. Lai
Department of Bioengineering
James Lai received his PhD in chemical engineering in 2005 from polytechnic university. He worked as Graduate Research Assistant in Polytewchnic university and then he worked as Senior/Post doctoral fellow in University of Washington during 2005-2009. Currently he is working as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington from 2009.
Point-of-care (POC) immunoassays (i.e., lateral-flow tests) have become one of the main streams diagnostics because these tests require almost no instrument and training and can return results to patients with minimum waiting. A major challenge of the POC diagnostic development is to lower the assay’s limit of detection (LOD) toward the range of the diagnostics used in hospital laboratories. Due to the rarity (range from ca. nanomolar to femtomolar concentrations and below) of the target analytes, a simple and efficient biological sample handling technique that is integrated into the diagnostic module is essential for developing highly sensitive POC immunoassays. To address this fundamental issue my research aims to study stimuli-responsive “smart” nanomaterials, and apply them for the development of low-cost, non-instrumented (e.g. self-powered), easy to use point-of-care devices.