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Ponnambalam (Ravi) Selvaganapathy

Ponnambalam  (Ravi) Selvaganapathy

Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics

Tier 2: 2011-04-01 , Renewed: 2016-04-01


Department of Mechanical Engineering Profile | Center for Advanced Micro Electro Fluidics | Canada Research Chair Profile

Research involves

Designing and developing micro-devices that accelerate quality drug discovery, detect dangerous waterborne pathogens, and deliver drugs without pain.

Research relevance

This research will help accelerate the discovery of new drugs, aid in the pain-free delivery and control of medicines into the body, and help monitor pathogens in water.

A Worm's-Eye View of Diseases and Cures

Humans share many of the same biological characteristics as lowly roundworms, with an almost 60 per cent genetic similarity. That makes the worms good models to study the effects of new drugs, as well as the development and progress of such diseases as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure.

Dr. Ravi Selvaganapathy, Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics, has designed and developed devices that improve the quality of screening and innovation in drug discovery by allowing researchers to study complex interactions at the molecular level in organisms.

He has developed a "microchannel device"—known as a microfluidic electrotaxis assay system—that manipulates tiny, transparent roundworms through a narrow channel where they can be observed and measured as they react to various drug regimens.

Similar devices developed by Selvaganapathy can be used to detect dangerous pathogens in water. He is developing individual microfluidic components to filter and process samples to test for the presence of harmful bacteria, micro-organisms and chemical toxins in drinking water supplies. By doing so, his research could significantly decrease the cost and time it takes to identify and respond to waterborne public health threats. Selvaganapathy is also using biomaterials to make precise, nano-level, scaled micro-needles that are suitable for injection into tissues or organs such as the eye, to combat diseases like macular degeneration.

The devices Selvaganapathy is designing and developing will reduce costs, increase productivity and provide significant benefits to Canada’s health-care system, and to public safety.