Gongchen Sun

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering & Chemical Engineering

Gongchen Sun

Research Interests

  • Electrokinetics
  • Micro/nanofluidics
  • Lab-on-a-chip
  • Systems bioengineering

Description of Research

My research group is interested in fundamental electrokinetic and interfacial phenomena in micro/nanofluidic systems and applications of these principles to address critical challenges in disease prevention, therapeutic biomanufacturing, and systems neuroscience. We develop integrated micro/nano technologies to enable low-cost personalized medicine and to transform next-generation systems bioengineering research. In particular, we focus on four specific topics:

  1. Multiscale electrokinetic phenomena in complex environments, such as ion concentration polarization and electroconvection in non-Newtonian fluid, multi-ion physiological buffers, soft biomaterials, and integrated microfluidic networks. We aim to offer fundamental understandings in ion and fluid transport that are critical for on-demand control of ions and macromolecules in a wide range of applications from point-of-care diagnostics to regenerative tissue manufacturing.
  2. Integrated ionic circuits for multiscale phenotyping and single molecule imaging in multicellular organisms. Our ionic circuits will make it possible to simultaneously profile spatial gene and protein expression patterns in whole micro-organisms to study complex physiological processes, such as aging and embryogenesis.
  3. Interfacial and multiphase microfluidic devices for precise manipulation of biological and artificial colloids. Our device aims to achieve low-cost manufacturing of therapeutic cells such as CAR-T cell for cancer treatment and high-throughput assembly of active colloids in energy and environmental applications.
  4. Electrokinetically activated microreactors and high-content bioimaging for high-yield culture and analysis of 3D tissue models. Our platform technology aims to enable smart culture of 3D spheroids and organoids for disease modeling of complex diseases (e.g. cancer, neurological disorders) and high-throughput drug screening.


  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering (Microelectronics), Peking University, China
  • Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology


  • Sun, G., Manning, C.-A., Lee, G. H., Majeed. M, Lu, H., “Microswimmer Combing: controlling interfacial dynamics for open-surface multifunctional screening of small animals.” Advanced Healthcare Materials, 10, 2001887 (2021).
  • Wan, J., Sun, G., Dicent, J., Patel, D. S., Lu, H., “smFISH in chips: a microfluidic-based pipeline to quantify in situ gene expression in whole organisms.” Lab on a Chip, 20, 266-273 (2020).
  • Sun, G., Wan, J., Lu, H., “Rapid and Multi-cycle smFISH Enabled by Microfluidic Ion Concentration Polarization for In-situ Profiling of Tissue-specific Gene Expression in Whole C. elegans.” Biomicrofluidics, 13, 064101 (2019).
  • Zhang, C., Sun, G., Senapati, S., Chang, H.-C., “A Bifurcated Continuous Field-Flow Fractionation (BCFFF) Chip for High-Yield and High-Throughput Nucleic Acid Extraction and Purification.” Lab on a Chip, 19, 3853-3861 (2019).
  • Sun, G., Lu, H., “Recent Advances in Microfluidic Techniques for Systems Biology.” Analytical Chemistry, 91, 315-329 (2019).
  • Chen, X., Wang, H., Sun, G., Ma, X., Gao, J., Wu, W., “Resistive Switching Characteristic of Electrolyte-Oxide-Semiconductor Structures.” Journal of Semiconductors, 38, 084003 (2017).
  • Sun, G., Pan, Z., Senapati, S., Chang, H.-C., “Concentration-Gradient Stabilization with Segregated Counter-and Co-Ion Paths: A Quasistationary Depletion Front for Robust Molecular Isolation or Concentration.” Physical Review Applied, 7, 064024 (2017).
  • Li, D., Wang, C., Sun, G., Senapati, S., Chang, H.-C., “A Shear-Enhanced CNT-Assembly NanoSensor Platform for Ultra-Sensitive and Selective Protein Detection.” Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 97, 143-149 (2017).
  • Egatz-Gomez, A., Wang, C., Klacsmann, F., Pan, Z., Marczak, S., Wang, Y., Sun, G., Senapati, S., Chang, H.-C., “Future Microfluidic and Nanofluidic Modular Platforms for Nucleic Acid Liquid Biopsy in Precision Medicine.” Biomicrofluidics, 10, 032902 (2016).
  • Sun, G., Senapati, S., Chang, H.-C., “High-Flux Ionic Diodes, Ionic Transistors and Ionic Amplifiers Based on External Ion Concentration Polarization by An Ion Exchange Membrane: A New Scalable Ionic Circuit Platform.” Lab on a Chip, 16, 1171-1177 (2016). (Cover Article)
  • Sun, G., Slouka, Z., Chang, H.-C., “Fluidic-Based Ion Memristors and Ionic Latches.” Small, 11, 5206-5213 (2015).
  • Mao, H., Wu, W., She, D., Sun, G., Lv, P., Xu, J., “Microfluidic Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Sensors Based on Nanopillar Forests Realized by an Oxygen-Plasma-Stripping-of-Photoresist Technique.” Small, 10, 127-134 (2014).
  • Mao, H., Zhang, Y., Wu, W., Sun, G., Xu, J., “Realization of Cylindrical Submicron Shell Arrays by Diffraction-Introduced Photolithography.” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 21, 085004 (2011).