Carolyn Ren

Canada Research Chair in Microfluidic Technologies

Tier 1 - 2022-05-01
University of Waterloo
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Research summary

Microfluidic technologies let scientists work with very small volumes of liquids-as little as a single drop or less. They are used in a variety of high-precision biology applications and assistive technologies-from gene sequencing to cancer diagnostics to inkjet printing-because they offer lower costs, faster speeds, higher performance and more portable options than traditional technologies. Dr. Carolyn Ren, Canada Research Chair in Microfluidic Technologies, is advancing breakthroughs in two sub-fields of the discipline: droplet microfluidics (DM) and air microfluidics (AM).

She and her research team are developing modular DM platforms that enable easy assembly of application-specific systems. They are also creating AM-enabled wearable technologies for use by patients during rehabilitation from disorders such as stroke, spinal injury or limb amputation. Ultimately, their research could improve the lives of Canadians, whether through affordable medicine, early disease diagnosis or wearable systems for therapy at home.