Medical Engineering at Caltech focuses on the applications of micro-/nanoscale engineering sciences and technologies to the design, analysis, and implementation of diagnostic, therapeutic, and monitoring devices for translational medicine.

Areas of Research

Affordable Medical Devices and Technologies

Faculty: Gao, Gharib, Hajimiri, Ismagilov, Yang

Chairs for children with cerebral palsy, bed-sore mitigation, toxic material filters, saliva-based diabetes tests, hand-held diagnostic devices, and remote medical tracking systems. Devices which provide freedom from disability.


Faculty: Gradinaru, Greer, Ismagilov, Shapiro, Tai

Biocompatible medical materials, nanoscale-engineered smart materials, device-tissue interface, and cell-material interactions.

Biomechanics & Bio-Inspired Design

Faculty: Burdick, Colonius, Gao, Gharib, Gradinaru, Shapiro

Bio-inspired self-propulsion technologies, control systems, optimization techniques, shape morphing, cardiovascular mechanics, biomolecular nanomechanics, and muscle and membrane mechanics.

Medical Diagnostic, Monitoring, and Therapeutic Implants

Faculty: Emami, Gao, Scherer, Tai

Microscale implants with new functionalities to interface intact tissues and/or to replace defective functions: retinal implants, spinal cord implants, ECG implants, cardiovascular implants, implantable pressure sensors, glucose sensors, drug delivery pumps, and implantable bio-analyte sensors.

Medical Diagnostic and Monitoring On-Chip Devices

Faculty: Emami, Hajimiri, Ismagilov, Scherer, Tai, Yang

Magnetic spectroscopy, bioassay, and drug-screening platforms, micro-PCR and sequencer, and on-chip bio-sensors.

Medical Imaging and Sensing

Faculty: Colonius, Emami, Faraon, Gao, Gharib, Gradinaru, Hajimiri, Scherer, Shapiro, Wang, Yang

Medical photonics and sensors, advanced imaging technologies, micro flow-field imaging, computational image analysis, lensless microscopy-on-a-chip, diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound, and shock waves, single-molecule detection and diagnostics, magnetic spectroscopy, terahertz imaging, Raman spectroscopy, photoacoustic tomography, thermoacoustic tomography, compressed ultrafast photography, holographic microscopy, non-invasive label-free biomedical imaging and magnetic resonance imaging, wearable biosensors.

Medical Nanoelectronics

Faculty: Emami, Gao, Hajimiri, Scherer

Integrated nanoelectronics and circuits for medical applications, extremely low power medical electronics and sensors, high bandwidth wireless communication devices, self-healing circuits and systems, on-chip tera-hertz sources, and systems-on-a-chip.

Micro/Nano Medical Technologies and Devices

Faculty: Burdick, Emami, Faraon, Gao, Gharib, Greer, Hajimiri, Ismagilov, Scherer, Shapiro, Tai, Wang, Yang

Biochips, bio-MEMS/NEMS, micro-/nano-fabrication, holographic microscopy, and photoacoustic microscopy for medical applications.

Nano & Micro Fluidics

Faculty: Gao, Gharib, Ismagilov, Tai,

Micro-/nano-fluidics, drug delivery, and physiological machines.


Faculty: Burdick, Emami, Tai

Neural prosthetics and direct brain-machine interfaces, human prosthetics for paralysis, pure-thought-based control of external electromechanical devices, computer-decoding algorithms for direct brain interface, and robotic fingers.

Wireless Medical Technologies

Faculty: Emami, Hajimiri, Gharib, Scherer, Shapiro, Tai

Wireless communications through skins and tissues for medical electronic implants, electrograms, wireless power transfer, and biotic/abiotic interfaces.