Frances S. Ligler
Naval Research Laboratory
New concepts for molecular recognition, integration of microfluidics and optics, simplified fabrication technologies, and improved approaches to biosensor system integration are producing smaller, faster, cheaper biosensors with capacity to provide effective and actionable information. We have combined microfluidic mixers, Dean-based separation systems, magnetic field control, and hydrodynamic focusing methods to move target molecules and cells into a variety of interrogation devices. These approaches achieve improved target delivery to sensors and reduced clogging. Most importantly, we have focused on issues critical for effective systems integration, including the interactivity of the choices for sampling technology, biochemistry, optics, fluidics, and electronics. The overall sensing geometry, size, power, and data readout must address the sensing needs and the user requirements—in a final format that is as simple, robust, and inexpensive as possible.
Frances S. Ligler is the Navy’s Senior Scientist for Biosensors and Biomaterials and the current chair of the Bioengineering Section of the National Academy of Engineering. She earned a B.S. from Furman University and both a D.Phil. and a D.Sc. from Oxford University. Currently working in the fields of biosensors and microfluidics, she has also performed research in biochemistry, immunology, and proteomics. She has over 350 full-length publications and patents, which have been cited over 6700 times. She serves as an Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry and on editorial/advisory boards for Biosensors & Bioelectronics, Analytical Bioanalytical Chemistry, Sensors, Open Optics, and Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Elected an SPIE Fellow in 2000, she has been the American representative on the organizing committee for the World Biosensors Congress since 2000 and was elected in 2002 to the permanent steering committee for Europt(r)odes, the European Conference on Optical Sensors. She has been awarded the ACS Hillebrand Award, the national Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Outstanding Achievement Award, the Homeland Security Award (Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Field) by the Christopher Columbus Foundation and the 2003 Presidential Rank of Distinguished Senior Professional by President Bush.