Rick (Frederick) Haselton, Ph.D.

Biomedical Engineering
Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Global Health Topic(s): Basic Sciences, Ebola virus disease (EVD), Engineering Sciences, Infectious Diseases, Malaria, Maternal and Child Health, Tuberculosis


We seek to develop technologies for diagnostic and research applications at the nano and molecular level using both in vitro and in vivo systems. Our laboratory has a strong collaborative and experimental focus as indicated by the current examples listed below.

Current Projects

“Coffee Ring Diagnostics for Malaria” – The goal of this unique microfluidics project is to develop a low-cost & simple diagnostic device for the detection of malaria suitable for low resource environments. Our current design uses the presence of a malarial biomarker to alter the microfluidic transport of particles in an evaporating drop and produce visually detectable changes in particle ring formation. Current efforts are directed at adapting this technology to detection of tuberculosis.

“Biological sample processing based on surface tension valves” - This self-contained processing device captures biomarker targets of interest from complex biological matrices on the surface of magnetic carrier beads which convey the biomarker targets through a series of processing solutions to concentrate them and reduce the concentration of constituents that interfere with the detection of biomarkers. Current projects focus on developing designs for commercial applications of this technology.

“Compensated scattering interferometry” – Detection of molecular interactions remains a significant challenge. This project expands on a novel solution-phase assay methodology that is truly label-free, target/probe agnostic and exhibits sub-picomolar sensitivity. The goal of this project is to combine a newly discovered transduction method, compensated scattering interferometry, with aptamer probes to provide a field-compatible assay in serum or urine.

“Enhancement of lateral flow assays for molecular detection of biomarkers of infection” - There is an unmet need for new biomarker detection designs that increase sensitivity yet retain simplicity and easy interpretation by the user. The goal of this project is to develop “LFA 2.0” designs that enable simple and inexpensive diagnostic testing. Our approach is based on a improvements to the current single-use cassette.


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Haverford College

Research Information