Prof. Patrick S Doyle

Robert T Haslam (1911) Professor of Chemical Engineering
Graduate Officer, Chemical Engineering

Primary DLC

Department of Chemical Engineering

MIT Room: E17-504F

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Single Molecule DNA Dynamics
Polymer Physics
Transport Phenomena

Research Summary

Professor Doyle's research focuses on understanding the dynamics of single polymers and biomolecules under forces and fields. A second part of the research concerns the synthesis and studies (fundamental and applied) of microparticles in microfluidic devices. Both experimental and computational approaches are utilized in the research in order to understand fundamental issues in a wide variety of applications ranging from lab-on-chip separations to polymer rheology. We profit from interdisciplinary collaboration with biologists, physicists and mechanical engineers. 

The ability to visualize and manipulate single DNA molecules can provide unique and valuable insights. Doyle's lab directly observes single DNA molecules using fluorescence microscopy and manipulates them in custom built microdevices. DNA experiments focus on designing new separation techniques for lab-on-chip devices, understanding polymer dynamics in complex flows and confined geometries, and studying single molecule biophysics. To complement and often guide these experimental studies, large-scale Brownian dynamics simulations are performed. The Lab is currently exploring rational design strategies to optimize DNA sequencing techniques and separations in microlithography arrays.

In microparticle work, the Lab has developed a number of new flow-based synthesis techniques which combine microfluidics with lithography. These synthesis techniques allow for the production of complex microparticles. Enabled by these technologies, encoded particles are developed for the multiplexed detection of proteins and nucleic acids. Other applications include drug delivery and pharmaceutical processing. Additionally, these systems are used to design custom mechanically soft or magnetic particles and study their response in fields or flows. 

(summary updated 9/2010)

Recent Work