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[Lecture] Don’t fake it until you can make it: Device prototyping as an integral part of translational research
Sep. 19, 2023

Speaker: Charlie Mace, Tufts University

Panelist: Haixia (Alice) Zhang, Peking University

Time: 20:00-22:00 p.m., Septembet 19, 2023, GMT+8

Venue: Scan the QR code to watch online


An ultimate goal of applied or translational research is to have a measurable impact on the real world. For those in the medical device community—inclusive of makers of diagnostics, sensors, and wearables—this goal requires meeting performance metrics related to precision, usability, and affordability, among others. These objectives have a vital and inseparable companion for academics, which is to prioritize training the next generation of scientists, engineers, critical thinkers, and innovators. While academic labs cannot and should not pursue commercialization efforts independently, efforts to de-risk the potential for new ideas, where the path from invention to application results in trainees leading concepts from prototype stage through validation settings outside the laboratory, hold significant value. In this presentation, I will highlight our group’s efforts to (i) establish paper-based microfluidic devices a low-cost platform to support point-of-care diagnostics and patient-centric microsampling of blood, (ii) collaborate with various stakeholders to iterate prototypes to improve performance and usability, and (iii) demonstrate the performance of prototypes in clinical settings. Ultimately, we demonstrate the benefit of this approach in applications targeting HIV and malaria.


Charlie Mace is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Tufts University. Charlie earned his BS in Physics from Le Moyne College in 2003, followed by an MS (2006) and Ph.D. (2008) in Biophysics from the University of Rochester while conducting research in the laboratory of Prof. Benjamin Miller. He was then a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. George Whitesides at Harvard University from 2008–2011. Prior to joining the faculty at Tufts in 2013, Charlie was a senior scientist at Diagnostics For All, a non-profit company with a mission to develop low-cost devices that reduced global disparities in access to diagnostics. At Tufts, the Mace Lab similarly focuses on developing simple yet innovative medical devices that will lead to increased access to healthcare. Their efforts aim to bridge technology development with clinical application, and their approaches include point-of-care diagnostics and patient-centric microsampling devices designed using paper-based microfluidics. Charlie was named an Emerging Investigator by Analytical Methods, a Rising Star and Top Expert by Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, and he was a recipient of a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation.

Source: iCANX