1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Electrical and computer engineering hosts seminar speaker Mark Allen

K-State Today

October 4, 2018

Electrical and computer engineering hosts seminar speaker Mark Allen

Submitted by Michelle Keating

Mark Allen

The electrical and computer engineering department will host seminar speaker Mark Allen, Alfred Fitler Moore professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 4 in 1109 Engineering Hall.

Allen will present "Microfabricated Protein MEMS: Structures and Sensors."

Abstract: The use of extracellular matrix (ECM) protein materials in the fabrication of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) offer the possibility of MEMS-based devices that are more easily integrated with the body, are better tolerated by the immune system, and/or which have mechanical properties that are well-matched to potential biological applications. However, the incorporation of these relatively delicate materials into standard MEMS processes can result in significant fabrication challenges. In this talk, we will discuss suitable fabrication approaches to Protein MEMS, and illustrate their use through two applications: a structural application, in which small diameter vascular conduits with designed mechanical properties suitable for pulsatile blood flow are fabricated from collagen and elastin ECM materials; and a collagen-based cortical neural electrode, which has demonstrated reduced inflammation and superior persistence of functionality in in vivo models when compared to conventional electrodes.

Allen received a bachelor's degree in chemistry, a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, and bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and master's and doctoral degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. In 1989 he joined the faculty of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, ultimately holding the rank of regents' professor and the J.M. Pettit Professorship in Microelectronics, as well as a joint appointment in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In 2013 he left Georgia Tech to become the Alfred Fitler Moore professor of electrical and systems engineering and scientific director of the Singh Nanotechnology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Allen's current research interests are in the field of microfabrication and nanofabrication technology, with emphasis on new approaches to fabricate devices with characteristic lengths in the micro- to nanoscale from both silicon and non-silicon materials. He has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, co-chair of the 1996 IEEE/ASME MEMS Conference, co-chair of the 2012 Power MEMS conference, and chair of the 2016 Solid State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems ("Hilton Head") conference. He has also co-founded multiple MEMS companies, including Cardiomems, Axion Biosystems, and Enachip.

Allen is a fellow of the IEEE and received the IEEE 2016 Daniel P. Noble Award for contributions to research and development, clinical translation, and commercialization of biomedical microsystems. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Inventors in 2017.