For the last 10 years, Professor Yu-Chong Tai has also launched a major effort towards bio/medical devices such as microfluidics, labs-on-a-chip and biomedical implants. His lab has developed the first complete high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on-a-chip for total biochemical analysis. Professor Tai also has various collaborative research programs to develop cortical, retinal and spinal implants based on a parylene MEMS technology he has developed and has also engaged in research on circulating tumor cells enrichment and stem cell treatment of age-related macular disease (funded by California Government, CIRM project).
Previously, Professor Tai had extensively worked on active fluid sensing and control and successfully developed MEMS devices included pressure sensors, shear-stress sensors, hot-wire anemometers, flexible sensor skins, magnetic actuators, rubber-balloon actuators, etc. Nevertheless, his research always emphasizes MEMS system integration. For examples, his research portfolio includes smart MEMS surface for drag-reduction in turbulence, MEMS for delta-wing aerodynamic control, and MEMS-maneuvered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). He has published ~700 articles with >11,000 citations, including >200 granted and pending patents in the MEMS field (from "Publish and Perish"). See Publications for publication list.
Professor Tai's research uses Semiconductor/MEMS/NEMS technologies for medical applications. He has built the Caltech MEMS Laboratory , an 7,000-square-foot facility completely dedicated to biomedical devices and MEMS/NEMS. This facility has a clean-room lab (~3,000 sq. ft), CAD lab, and several measurement/metrology labs. It is supporting graduate students, postdocs, visiting scholars and industrial members to develop innovative devices such as neural chips, micro implants, drug delivery devices, etc. Examples of past devices include micromotors, microphones, neural chips, micro relays, micro power generators, micro valves, micro pumps, and more. Over the past 20 years, Prof. Tai has launched a major research effort into medical devices. Project examples include HPLC-on-a-chip, blood-labs-on-a-chip, wireless micro drug delivery, etc. Moreover, Tai's group has had a major program for miniature or micro implants. To this end, Prof. Tai collaborates with many medical doctors and biologist (such as from UCSF, USC, UCLA, and industries) to develop integrated implants for cortical, retinal and spinal applications. Micro implant devices included spinal neural stimulators, ECG implants, retinal prosthetic devices, intraocular lenses, implantable wireless pressure sensors, micro pacemakers, etc. Tai's group is always looking for students, postdocs and researchers who love technology and enjoy building devices.