WIN Member Seminar Series: Mahla Poudineh

Thursday, February 6, 2020 10:30 am - 11:30 am EST (GMT -05:00)

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) is happy to welcome Professor Mahla Poudineh to the WIN family! Professor Poudineh will deliver a seminar in order to introduce herself and her research to our community. Please join us in giving her a warm welcome. 

Next-Generation Enabling Technologies for Diagnosing Disease and Monitoring Therapy


It is a priority for the field of personalized medicine to bring information on disease-related agents including cancer cells, bacteria and a diverse range of biomolecule analytes into the clinic. To accomplish this, technologies are needed that enable rapid, sensitive and - ultimately - real-time analysis of these clinical specimens. Biophysical and materials chemistry, as well as micro and nanofabrication, are crucial tools in this endeavor. In particular, engineering at the nanoscale is required to enable the highest feasible levels of sensitivity and specificity to be realized.

Professor Poudineh will present three new strategies for cellular and biomolecular tracking powered by microfluidic techniques, nanomaterials and optical detection. In the first part, she will present a real-time biosensor that continuously updates specific biomolecules’ fluctuating concentration levels directly in complex medium. The real-time monitoring technique has the potential to inform how the complex biological systems such as brain function, and also enable early diagnosis of a wide range of diseases including diabetes mellitus and fatal infectious diseases. In the second part, she will discuss a magnetic sorting approach that harnesses nanoparticles and nickel micromagnets in fluidic channels, enabling the phenotypic profiling of heterogeneous populations of circulating tumor cells. The technique, named magnetic ranking cytometry or MagRC, allows metastatic cancer cells to be distinguished from non-metastatic ones; and permits these rare cells to be analyzed in patient samples for cancer monitoring. Finally, she will discuss an approach to promote the differentiation of stem cells toward neural lineage. Three-dimensional, nanostructured architectures are engineered using electrodeposited metals to modify the morphology and fate of stem cells.

The new advances reported in this talk, enrich the level of information that can be collected from diverse clinical specimens, and provide new means and potentials for highly accurate cellular and molecular analysis in medicine.


Mahla PoudinehMahla Poudineh is an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, Department of Electrical Engineering. She received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering (with a minor in Biomedical Engineering) from the University of Toronto in 2016. Prior to joining UWaterloo, Mahla completed postdoctoral training at the University of Toronto, Department of Pharmaceutical Science and Stanford University, School of Medicine in 2017 and 2019, respectively. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of Tehran, Iran in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Her research interests include developing bio-sensing approaches for therapeutics and diagnostics purposes and translating biomedical devices to the clinic.