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Scott Manalis, Ph.D.

Department of Biological Engineering Division
Associate Professor of Biological Engineering NEC Career Development Professor of Computers and Communications Head, Nanoscale Sensing Group

Room E15-422
617-253-5039 (phone)


Ph.D. in Applied Physics, 1998 Stanford University

Research Summary

The Manalis laboratory develops quantitative and real-time techniques for biomolecular detection and single cell analysis. We use conventional silicon processing techniques to fabricate fluidic devices, and exploit the unique physical properties associated with micro- and nanoscale dimensions for developing precision measurement methods.

We have recently developed a technology that enables mass to be measured in the aqueous environment with a resolution that is a million-fold better than existing methods. This approach, known as the suspended microchannel resonator (SMR), places the fluid inside of the resonator instead of immersing the resonator in the fluid and thereby solves the long-standing problem of signal degradation from viscous drag. This has enabled single cells, nanoparticles and biomolecules to be weighed in solution with femtogram resolution.

We are currently exploring a wide range of biological applications with the SMR. For example, we are using the SMR's ability to resolve mammalian cell mass with a precision near ~0.01% to investigate how cell growth relates to progression through the division cycle, and if the response of cancer cells to pathway-directed therapeutics can be classified according to subtle changes in growth.

Selected Publications

  • J. Lee, W. Shen, K. Payer, T.P. Burg , S.R. Manalis. Toward attogram mass measurements in solution with suspended nanochannel resonators, Nano Letters (2010).
  • M. Godin, F.F. Delgado, S. Son, W.H. Grover, A.K. Bryan, A. Tzur, P. Jorgensen, K. Payer, A.D. Grossman, M.W. Kirschner, S.R. Manalis. Using buoyant mass to measure the growth of single cells, Nature Methods (2010).
  • A.K. Bryan, A. Goranov, A. Amon, S.R. Manalis. Measurement of Mass, Density, and Volume During the Cell Cycle of Yeast, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010).
  • T.P. Burg, J.E. Sader, S.R. Manalis. Nonmonotonic Energy Dissipation in Microfluidic Resonators. Physical Review Letters (2009).
  • T.M. Squires, R.J. Messinger, S.R. Manalis. Making it stick: convection, reaction, and diffusion in surface based biosensors. Nature Biotechnology, 26 417 (2008).
  • T.P. Burg, M.Godin, S.M. Knudsen, W. Shen, G. Carlson, J.S. Foster, K. Babcock, and S.R. Manalis. Weighing of Biomolecules, Single Cells, and Single Nanoparticles in Fluid.Nature, 446 1066 (2007).

Last Updated: January 31, 2011