Office of Research Sensing What Ails Us - Office of Research

Sensing What Ails Us

Cristina Davis

Cristina Davis is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Bioinstrumentation and BioMEMS (bio-microelectromechanical systems) Laboratory. Her main research interests are chemical and biological sensing applications, use of technology to speed biomarker discovery, novel bioMEMS devices, and bioinformatics interpretation of sensor output.

Davis’ group is currently developing new sensor systems for rapid diagnosis of various human, animal and agriculture diseases and can be further applied toward early detection of chemical and biological agents. Drawing parallels in metabolite and chemical detection for use in clinical and defense applications enables the development of “dual-use” sensors that are both less expensive and applicable to a wide spectrum of problems.

Davis also recently developed a human breath sampler for use in diagnostic testing (UC Case 2015-064). Breath tests offer non-invasive ways to assess general health and potentially diagnose certain illnesses, such as liver dysfunction or certain cancers. The technology is a handheld, easy-to-use device for collecting breath samples from human patients. The device condenses breath, forming an exhaled breath condensate sample for evaluation. It also allows for rapid collection of uncontaminated samples as well as quick removal and storage.

Davis is scheduled to be inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. She was nominated for her contributions to non-invasive chemical and biological sensing tools and applications.