Karl Böhringer

Joint Professor of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering

Phone: (206)221-5177
Office: EEB 253I and Fluke Hall 215

UW Bioengineering faculty Karl Bohringer
Lab Website

How I am inventing the future of medicine

My lab uses microfabrication and nanotechnology to build microfluidic labs-on-a-chip and implantable sensors.

Research Interests


Research Description

In our lab, we work on many aspects of micro and nano electro mechanical systems (MEMS / NEMS). This research tends to be very interdisciplinary, and we have collaborations in biology, chemical engineering, bioengineering, computer science, and other departments. We have built, for example, self-assembling microstructures, biomedical implants, systems for docking of picosatellites, and walking microrobots.
There are two major research themes in our work:
Controlling surfaces and interfacial forces at the micro and nano scale: this includes systems for controlled self-assembly of microcomponents, “programmable” surfaces whose local properties (for example, hydrophobicity) can be changed on demand, and MEMS actuator arrays and microrobots for moving tiny objects.
Joining MEMS and biology: this includes integrating new biomaterials into MEMS processes and devices, biomedical sensor implants, and microfluidic chips for handling and analyzing biological samples.

PhD Cornell University, 1997
MS Cornell University, 1993
Dipl.-Inform., Technical University Karlsruhe, Germany, 1990
Postdoc Information

University of California at Berkeley, 1996-1998
Awards and Honors

2011 IEEE Fellow
2010 John M. Fluke Distinguished Chair of Engineering, University of Washington
2004-2005 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitational Fellowship for Research in Japan
2004 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Academic Early Career Award
1999 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
1997 National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Associateship
UW Bioengineering Courses Taught

Selected Publications

Bowen Cheng, Dirk De Bruyker, Chris Chua, Kunal Sahasrabuddhe, Ivan Shubin, John E. Cunningham, Ying Luo, Karl F. Böhringer, Ashok V. Krishnamoorthy, Eugene M. Chow, “Microspring characterization and flip-chip assembly reliability.” IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology 3(2):187-196, February 2013.

Kwang Soon Park, Ji Hao Hoo, Rajashree Baskaran, Karl F. Böhringer, “Optimization of Angular Alignment in Self-assembly of Thin Parts at an Air-water Interface.” ASME/IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems (letter) 22(1):13-15, February 2013.

Kwang Soon Park, Ji Hao Hoo, Rajashree Baskaran, Karl F. Böhringer, “Parallel heterogeneous integration of chip-scale parts by self-assembly.” ASME/IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems (letter) 21(6):1273-5, December 2012.

Chang-Ching Tu, Ji-Hao Hoo, Karl F. Böhringer, Lih Y. Lin, Guozhong Cao, “Surface passivation dependent photoluminescence from silicon quantum dot phosphors.” Optics Letters 37(22):4771-4, 15 November 2012.

Kwang Soon Park, Ji Hao Hoo, Rajashree Baskaran, Karl F. Böhringer, “Orientation-controlled parallel assembly at air-water interface”, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 22(10):105028, October 2012.

Todd A. Duncombe, James F. Parsons, Karl F. Böhringer, „Directed Drop Transport Rectified from Orthogonal Vibrations via a Flat Wetting Barrier Ratchet”, Langmuir 28(38):13765-13770, 30 August 2012.

Shaghayegh Abbasi, Sathana Kitayaporn, Michael J. Siedlik, Daniel T. Schwartz, Karl F. Böhringer, “Electrodeposition modeling and optimization to improve thin film patterning with orchestrated structure evolution”, IOP Nanotechnology 23(30):305301, 3 August 2012.

Todd A. Duncombe, E. Yegân Erdem, Ashutosh Shastry, Rajashree Baskaran, Karl F. Böhringer, “Controlling Liquid Drops with Texture Ratchets.” Advanced Materials 24(12):1545-1550, 22 March 2012.

Anupama V. Govindarajan, Sujatha Ramachandran, Genevieve D. Vigil, Paul Yager, Karl F. Böhringer, “A low cost point-of-care viscous sample preparation device for molecular diagnosis in the developing world; an example of microfluidic origami.” Lab-on-a-Chip 12(1):174-181, 2012.


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