Prof. Rohit N Karnik

Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Associate Department Head / Mechanical Engineering
Associate Director, Abdul Latif Jameel
Water & Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS)

Primary DLC

Department of Mechanical Engineering

MIT Room: 3-461A


Alexandra Cabral

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Microfluidic and Nanofluidic Systems: Transport in Nanofluidics, Development of New Technologies for Separation, Sensing and Manipulation of Molecules
Microfluidic Devices for Nanoparticle Synthesis, Micromixing, Cell Separation
Targeted Nanoparticles
Cancer Therapy

Research Summary

Professor Karnik's general interest is in microfluidic and nanofluidic devices for a variety of applications ranging from nanoparticle synthesis and separation technology to manipulation of single molecules. Postdoctoral research conducted in Professor Robert Langer's group involved using microfluidic devices for combinatorial synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. Another project involved development of a new continuous-flow technique for cell separation based on receptor patterning in microfluidic channels.

As a graduate student in Professor Arun Majumdar's Nanoengineering Lab at Berkeley, Karnik worked in the areas of nanofluidics and microfluidic mixing.

Nanofluidics: Effects of surface charge can dominate ionic transport in nanofluidic channels when channel height becomes comparable to the Debye screening length. Nanofluidics research involved development of a nanofluidic transistor for flow control, studying the effects of biomolecular binding events in nanochannels on transport of ions, development of a new technique for solution-phase biomolecular patterning, and fabrication of a nanofluidic diode for rectification of transport.

Microfluidics: Microfluidics research involved development of a mixer to mix concentrated protein solutions to study biochemical kinetics on the millisecond timescale under conditions that mimic those inside cells. This research extended the mixing time from minutes in macroscale systems to milliseconds in our device.

Recent Work

  • Video


    September 26, 2023Conference Video Duration: 49:8
    Panel: Innovation in the Water Sector: Focus on Industry-Academic Collaboration 


    April 8, 2021Conference Video Duration: 121:54

    Steven Leeb
    Professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    Duane Boning
    Clarence J. LeBel Professor,
    Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
    Alejandro Beivide García
    Chief Digital Officer, Acciona Infraestructures
    David Knezevic
    Co-founder & CTO, Akselos
    Jongyoon Han
    Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Biological Engineering
    Rohit Karnik
    Professor & Associate Department Head for Education
    Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Robert Teich
    Senior Marketing Director, Analytics, Xylem
    Anurag Bajpayee
    Co-Founder and CEO, Gradiant

    John Lienhard
    Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Food
    Director, Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab
    Director, Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy
    MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering


    April 6, 2021Conference Video Duration: 18:11
    Rohit Karnik
    Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering