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 is centered on the Caltech MEMS Laboratory that he built at Caltech. This is an 8,000 sq. ft. facility completely devoted to MEMS research. This facility has a clean-room lab (4,000 sq. ft), CAD lab, and a measurement/metrology lab. It is constantly supporting about 20 researchers (graduates, postdocs, visiting scholars and industrial members) to develop innovative MEMS/NEMS devices such as micromotors, microphones, micro scanning mirrors, neural chips, micro relays, micro power generators, etc.