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: https://www.3natrit.com/
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.
In the News
August 30, 2021
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
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.
May 3, 2019
RIT professor hopes research could lead to quicker Ebola treatment, hinder spread
WHAM-TV features work by Ke Du, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.