Enzymes are the workhorse catalysts involved in many aspects of bioenergy research at JBEI. The Microfluidics Group is developing high-throughput and high-content assay platforms for characterizing enzymes and enzyme-variants, along with their substrates and products. This involves utilization of state-of-the-art microfluidic chips that can be interfaced with fluorescence detectors for rapid and sensitive detection. The goal is to develop cross-cutting microscale technologies for advancing biofuels development that are robust yet easy to use.


  • Development of microfluidic (i.e. lab-on-a-chip) tools for screening ionic liquid and synthetic biology applications.
  • Assay development at the interface of droplet microfluidics and mass spectrometry to streamline the discovery and optimization of biomanufacturing pathways.
  • Development of novel surfactants for microfluidic droplet formation. These sugar based surfactants have diverse biological applications including cell cultures, enzymatic activity assays, DNA synthesis etc.
  • Development of a method for Next-Generation DNA Synthesis.
  • Automation and scale-down of established assays for feedstock deconstruction and fuel synthesis using solids- and liquid-handling robots, with custom hardware for elevated temperatures and evaporation minimization.
  • Adapt electrophoretic glycan analysis to a commercial microfluidic instrument and demonstrate screening of GT and GH enzymes in 96-well format.

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