Nathan Swami

Primary Appointment

  • Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering


Research Interest(s)

Molecular and bioelectric devices; tissue regeneration.

Research Description


Nano-electromagnetics (NEMS)--Signaling at the nano/bio interface: The measurement, analysis and propagation of electrical, magnetic and optical signals with nanoscale spatial resolution is of interest within biomolecular sensing, morphogenesis, tissue regeneration, ion-channel signaling and the directed hierarchical assembly of materials. Our research group focuses on engineering nano-device interfaces to biosystems to harness electrical, magnetic, and optical signal transduction methodologies. Nanostructured devices, due to their enormous surface to volume ratio enable enhanced kinetics, sensitivity and heat transfer, as well as phenomena arising from sub-wavelength structures and the overlap of neighboring electrical double layers. We focus on electrokinetic enrichment, patterning and separation of biosystems for applications within early diagnosis of diseases; guidance of cells for tissue regeneration, and nano-assembly of materials.


Our research is broadly organized within the following areas:

(1) Microfluidic devices for selective pre-concentration and separation of biological cells using electrokinetic and magnetic manipulation

(2) Nanofluidic devices for dielectrophoretic enrichment of biomarkers for high-sensitivity detection of cancer biomarkers, mRNA from infectious agents, and viruses

(3) Electrical and optical signal transduction on micro- and nanofluidic devices: Integrating sensing with localized manipulation

(4) Electrical and magnetic methods for the alignment, patterning and hierarchical assembly of nanostructures

Most Recent Publications:

Recent Publications (Full list at: )

“Nanofiber size-dependent sensitivity of fibroblast directionality to the methodology for scaffold alignment”, V. Chaurey, F. Block, R. Su, P. Chiang, E.A. Botchwey, C.F. Chou, N. Swami*, Acta Biomaterialia (2012): Journal Impact Factor = 4.865

“Nano-constriction device for rapid protein pre-concentration in physiological media by electrokinetic force balance”, K.T. Liao, M. Tsegaye, V. Chaurey, C.F. Chou, N. Swami*. Electrophoresis (2012), 33, 1958-1966. Journal Impact Factor =3.3

“Interplay of electrical forces for alignment of sub-100 nm electrospun nanofibers at insulator gap collectors”, V. Chaurey, P. Chiang, C. Polanco, R. Su, C.F. Chou, N. Swami*. Langmuir (2010), 26 (24), pp 19022–19026. DOI: 10.1021/la102209q. Journal Impact Factor = 4.1

“Enhancing DNA hybridization kinetics through constriction-based dielectrophoresis”, N. Swami*, C.F. Chou, V. Ramamurthy, V. Chaurey, Lab on a chip (2009) 9, 3212-3220. Journal Impact Factor = 6.35

“Dielectric Properties of Biological Molecules in the Terahertz Gap”, Parthasarathy, R.; Globus, T*; Khromova, T; Swami, N.; Woolard, D. Applied Physics Letters (2005), 87, 113901-113903. Journal Impact Factor = 3.72

Selected Publications

  • Sanghavi B, Wolfbeis O, Hirsch T, Swami N. Nanomaterial-based electrochemical sensing of neurological drugs and neurotransmitters. Mikrochimica acta. 2015;182 1-41. PMID: 25568497 | PMCID: PMC4281370
  • Farmehini V, Rohani A, Su Y, Swami N. A wide-bandwidth power amplifier for frequency-selective insulator-based dielectrophoresis. Lab on a chip. 2014;14(21): 4183-7. PMID: 25226875
  • Rohani A, Varhue W, Su Y, Swami N. Electrical tweezer for highly parallelized electrorotation measurements over a wide frequency bandwidth. Electrophoresis. 2014;35(12): 1795-802. PMID: 24668830
  • Rohani A, Varhue W, Su Y, Swami N. Quantifying spatio-temporal dynamics of biomarker pre-concentration and depletion in microfluidic systems by intensity threshold analysis. Biomicrofluidics. 2014;8(5): 052009. PMID: 25538800 | PMCID: PMC4222295
  • Sanghavi B, Varhue W, Chávez J, Chou C, Swami N. Electrokinetic preconcentration and detection of neuropeptides at patterned graphene-modified electrodes in a nanochannel. Analytical chemistry. 2014;86(9): 4120-5. PMID: 24697740
  • Su Y, Warren C, Guerrant R, Swami N. Dielectrophoretic monitoring and interstrain separation of intact Clostridium difficile based on their S(Surface)-layers. Analytical chemistry. 2014;86(21): 10855-63. PMID: 25343746 | PMCID: PMC4222627
  • Chaurey V, Rohani A, Su Y, Liao K, Chou C, Swami N. Scaling down constriction-based (electrodeless) dielectrophoresis devices for trapping nanoscale bioparticles in physiological media of high-conductivity. Electrophoresis. 2013;34(7): 1097-104. PMID: 23436401
  • Fauss E, MacCuspie R, Oyanedel-Craver V, Smith J, Swami N. Disinfection action of electrostatic versus steric-stabilized silver nanoparticles on E. coli under different water chemistries. Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces. 2013;113 77-84. PMID: 24060931
  • Ivanoff C, Swami N, Hottel T, Garcia-Godoy F. Enhanced penetration of fluoride particles into bovine enamel by combining dielectrophoresis with AC electroosmosis. Electrophoresis. 2013;34(20): 2945-55. PMID: 23897721
  • Sanghavi B, Sitaula S, Griep M, Karna S, Ali M, Swami N. Real-time electrochemical monitoring of adenosine triphosphate in the picomolar to micromolar range using graphene-modified electrodes. Analytical chemistry. 2013;85(17): 8158-65. PMID: 23875581 | PMCID: PMC3839532
  • Su Y, Tsegaye M, Varhue W, Liao K, Abebe L, Smith J, Guerrant R, Swami N. Quantitative dielectrophoretic tracking for characterization and separation of persistent subpopulations of Cryptosporidium parvum. The Analyst. 2013;139(1): 66-73. PMID: 24225592
  • Chaurey V, Block F, Su Y, Chiang P, Botchwey E, Chou C, Swami N. Nanofiber size-dependent sensitivity of fibroblast directionality to the methodology for scaffold alignment. Acta biomaterialia. 2012;8(11): 3982-90. PMID: 22789616
  • Chaurey V, Polanco C, Chou C, Swami N. Floating-electrode enhanced constriction dielectrophoresis for biomolecular trapping in physiological media of high conductivity. Biomicrofluidics. 2012;6(1): 12806-1280614. PMID: 22481998 | PMCID: PMC3316617
  • Liao K, Tsegaye M, Chaurey V, Chou C, Swami N. Nano-constriction device for rapid protein preconcentration in physiological media through a balance of electrokinetic forces. Electrophoresis. 2012;33(13): 1958-66. PMID: 22806460
  • Camacho-Alanis F, Castaneda H, Zangari G, Swami N. Electrochemical impedance study of GaAs surface charge modulation through the deprotonation of carboxylic acid monolayers. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. 2011;27(18): 11273-7. PMID: 21859118
  • Neal R, Tholpady S, Foley P, Swami N, Ogle R, Botchwey E. Alignment and composition of laminin-polycaprolactone nanofiber blends enhance peripheral nerve regeneration. Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A. 2011. PMID: 22106069 | PMCID: PMC3550006
  • Chaurey V, Chiang P, Polanco C, Su Y, Chou C, Swami N. Interplay of electrical forces for alignment of sub-100 nm electrospun nanofibers on insulator gap collectors. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. 2010;26(24): 19022-6. PMID: 21082824
  • Pattanaik G, Shao W, Swami N, Zangari G. Electrolytic gold deposition on dodecanethiol-modified gold films. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. 2009;25(9): 5031-8. PMID: 19358589
  • Swami N, Chou C, Ramamurthy V, Chaurey V. Enhancing DNA hybridization kinetics through constriction-based dielectrophoresis. Lab on a chip. 2009;9(22): 3212-20. PMID: 19865727
  • Parthasarathy R, Bykhovski A, Gelmont B, Globus T, Swami N, Woolard D. Enhanced coupling of subterahertz radiation with semiconductor periodic slot arrays. Physical review letters. 2007;98(15): 153906. PMID: 17501354
  • Swami N, Chou C, Terberueggen R. Two-potential electrochemical probe for study of DNA immobilization. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. 2005;21(5): 1937-41. PMID: 15723492
  • Gorman M, Swami N, Groves J, Squibbs K, Werhane P. Integrating Ethics and Policy Into Nanotechnology Education Journal of Nano Education. 4.
  • Ripp Steven, Henry Theodore. Biotechnology and Nanotechnology Risk Assessment American Chemical Society. 17-40.
  • Savage N, Diallo M, Duncan J, Street A, Sustich R. Nanotechnology Applications for Clean Water William Andrew Inc.. 491-507.