Ke Du Headshot

Ke Du

Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Office Location
Office Mailing Address
76 Lomb Memorial Dr. Rochester, NY, 14623

Ke Du

Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering


Postdoc Fellow., University of California-Berkeley (2015-2018); Ph.D., Stevens Institute of Technology (2009-2015)


Dr. Du joined Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall of 2018 as an assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering. He also holds appointments in microsystems engineering and school of chemistry and materials science. Du's research interests include novel biosensors, mechanobiology, gene editing technology, scalable nanomanufacturing, and nanomaterials.

Prior to RIT, he was a postdoctoral researcher in chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley working on Ebola virus detection with single molecule counting technique. While at Berkeley, he also served as an adjunct faculty member at Diablo Valley College to practice his broader education philosophy. 

At RIT, Du is leading the Nanobiosensing, Nanomanufacturing, and Nanomaterials (3N) Lab. Currently, the lab has 6 Ph.D. students, 3 M.S. students, and several undergraduate students. The 3N lab has published over ten journal articles in ACS Sensors (complementary cover), ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (complementary cover), Advanced Functional Materials, ACS Omega (complementary cover), Applied Physics Letters, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Diagnostics, Electrophoresis (front cover), Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Optics Express, and Nanotechnology. More information about the research can be found at:

Du grew up in Beijing, China and attended the University of Science and Technology, Beijing before came to the United States. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degree from the University of South Florida (2009) and Stevens Institute of Technology (2015), respectively. His graduate studies focused on understanding liquid-core and air-cladding waveguide with sharp tip nanostructures, as well as scalable nanostencil lithography for high resolution nanopatterning on unconventional substrates.



The 3N lab aims to understand the interactions between biomolecules and nanostructures at the single-molecule level to enhance biomarker trapping and sensing. One major area of our research is point-of-care (POC) detection of infectious diseases, such as infections caused by Ebola and Zika viruses. We perform fluorescence, Raman, and electrochemical detection of biomolecules without target amplification. To inform early clinical decisions, we have pioneered the development of a new-generation POC system for the extraction and detection of Ebola RNA in the blood using a barcode fluorescence reporter and a photocleavable capture probe. My research team also studies the RNA cleavage and signal amplification mechanisms of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) and utilizes CRISPR for pathogen diagnosis in solution. Other research activities include fundamental studies of scalable, bioinspired, and self-forming polymer nanostructures and their applications in biosensing, nanomanufacturing, and liquid wetting.


Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Hass, Kenneth, et al. "Integrated Micropillar Polydimethylsiloxane Accurate CRISPR Detection System for Viral DNA Sensing." ACS Omega 5. (2020): 27433-27441. Web.
Qin, Peiwu, et al. "Rapid and Fully Microfluidic Ebola Virus Detection with CRISPRCas13a." ACS Sensors. (2019): 1048-1054. Print.
Chen, Xinye, et al. "Experimental and Theoretical Study on the Microparticle Trapping and Release in a Deformable Nano-Sieve Channel." Nanotechnology 31. 5 (2020): 05LT01. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Manipulation of the Superhydrophobicity of Plasma-Etched Polymer Nanostructures." Micromachines. (2018): 304. Web.
Du, Ke, et al. "Self-formation of polymer nanostructures in plasma etching: mechanisms and applications." Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. (2017): 14006. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Microfluidic System for Detection of Viral RNA in Blood Using a Barcode Fluorescence Reporter and a Photocleavable Capture Probe." Analytical Chemistry. (2017): 12433-12440. Print.
Chen, Xinye, et al. "Rapid Escherichia coli (E. coli) Trapping and Retrieval from Bodily Fluids via a Three-Dimensional (3D) Beads Stacked Nano-Device." ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (2020): In press. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Superhydrophobic waveguide: Liquid-core air-cladding waveguide platform for optofluidics." Applied Physics Letters. (2018): 143701. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Selective hierarchical patterning of silicon nanostructures via soft nanostencil lithography." Nanotechnology. (2017): 465303. Print.
Jiang, Youhua, et al. "Nanotexturing of Conjugated Polymers via One-Step Maskless Oxygen Plasma Etching for Enhanced Tunable Wettability." Langmuir. (2017): 6885-6894. Print.
Chauvin, Adrien, et al. "Large-Scale Fabrication of Porous Gold Nanowires via Laser Interference Lithography and Dealloying of Gold–Silver Nano-Alloys." Micromachines. (2017): 168. Web.
Du, Ke, et al. "Multiplexed efficient on-chip sample preparation and sensitiveamplification-free detection of Ebola virus." Biosensors and Bioelectronics. (2017): 489-496. Print.
Mel, Abdel-Aziz El, et al. "Galvanic Replacement Reaction: A Route to Highly Ordered Bimetallic Nanotubes." The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. (2016): 17652-17659. Print.
Mel, Abdel-Aziz El, et al. "Controlling the Formation of Nanocavities in Kirkendall Nanoobjects through Sequential Thermal Ex Situ Oxidation and In Situ Reduction Reactions." Small. (2016): 2885-2892. Print.
Chauvin, Adrien, et al. "Planar Arrays of Nanoporous Gold Nanowires: When Electrochemical Dealloying Meets Nanopatterning." ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (2016): 6611-6620. Print.
Thiry, Damien, et al. "The Kirkendall Effect in Binary Alloys: Trapping Gold in Copper Oxide Nanoshells." Chemistry of Materials. (2015): 6374-6384. Print.
Ding, Junjun, et al. "Transfer patterning of large-area graphene nanomesh via holographic lithography and plasma etching." Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B. (2014): 06FF01-1. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Fabrication of polymer nanowires via maskless O2 plasma etching." Nanotechnology. (2014): 165301. Print.
Mel, Abdel-Aziz El, et al. "Electron Beam Nanosculpting of Kirkendall Oxide Nanochannels." ACS Nano. (2014): 1854-1861. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Fabrication of hierarchical nanostructures using free-standing trilayer membrane." Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B. (2013): 06FF04-1. Print.
Lu, Yiming, et al. "Large-Amplitude, Reversible, pH-Triggered Wetting Transitions Enabled by Layer-by-Layer Films." ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (2013): 12617-12623. Print.
Mel, Abdel-Aziz El, et al. "Highly Ordered Hollow Oxide Nanostructures: The Kirkendall Effect at the Nanoscale." Small. (2013): 2838-2843. Print.
Liu, Yuyang, et al. "From nanocone to nanodisc: Structural transformation of gold nanoarrays via simple mechanical stresses." Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B. (2012): 06FF10-1. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Dual applications of free-standing holographic nanopatterns for lift-off and stencil lithography." Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B. (2012): 06FF04-1. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Wafer-Scale Pattern Transfer of Metal Nanostructures on Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Substrates via Holographic Nanopatterns." ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (2012): 5505-5514. Print.
Wathuthanthri, Ishan, et al. "Simple Holographic Patterning for High-Aspect-Ratio Three-Dimensional Nanostructures with Large Coverage Area." Advanced Functional Materials. (2012): 608-618. Print.
Du, Ke, et al. "Large-area pattern transfer of metallic nanostructures on glass substrates via interference lithography." Nanotechnology. (2011): 285306. Print.
Invited Paper
He, Qian, et al. "Perspective of Molecular Diagnosis in Healthcare: From Barcode to Pattern Recognition." Diagnostics. (2019). Web.
Du, Ke, et al. "Sub-10 nm patterning with DNA nanostructures: a short perspective." Nanotechnology. (2017). Print.
Du, Ke, Ishan Wathuthanthri, and Chang-Hwan Choi. "The Rise of scalable micro/nanopatterning." Micromachines. (2017). Web.
Du, Ke, et al. "Stencil Lithography for Scalable Micro- and Nanomanufacturing." Micromachines. (2017). Web.

Currently Teaching

3 Credits
A first course in the fundamentals of heat transfer by conduction, convection and radiation, together with applications to typical engineering systems. Topics include one- and two-dimensional steady state and transient heat conduction, radiation exchange between black and gray surfaces, correlation equations for laminar/turbulent internal and external convection, and an introduction to heat exchangers analysis and design by LMTD and NTU methods.
1 - 9 Credits
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
0 Credits
Continuation of Thesis

In the News

  • August 30, 2021

    researchers looking at a laptop on a table with beakers and vials.

    Engineering faculty member receives NIH grant to develop biotechnology to better detect sepsis

    As one of the leading causes of death in hospitals, sepsis becomes more complicated with the rise in bacteria most resistant to some of today’s antibiotics. If physicians can detect onset earlier, treatments could begin sooner. Ke Du, a mechanical engineering faculty-researcher, will be developing a microfluidic device to improve detection of drug resistant bacteria in blood.

  • April 15, 2020

    An enlarged image of the different bioparticles found in a specimen.

    RIT researchers build micro-device to detect bacteria, viruses

    Ke Du and Blanca Lapizco-Encinas, both faculty-researchers in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, worked with an international team to collaborate on the design of a next-generation miniature lab device that uses magnetic nano-beads to isolate minute bacterial particles that cause diseases. This new technology improves how clinicians isolate drug-resistant strains of bacterial infections and difficult-to-detect micro-particles such as those making up Ebola and coronaviruses.