Dino Di Carlo, Ph.D.

  • Armond and Elena Hairapetian Professor, Bioengineering
  • Vice Chair, Bioengineering
  • Deputy Director, UCLA Precise Advanced Technologies and Health Systems for Underserved Populations (PATHS-UP) Engineering Research Center
Research Areas
Dino Di Carlo Headshot

Dino Di Carlo, Ph.D., develops micro- and nanotechnology approaches to sense and manipulate single cells and single molecules. He seeks to apply these new technologies to improve medical diagnostics and vaccine, cell and drug development, and to engineer biological solutions to promote food and energy sustainability.  

Microfluidics, microfabrication and nanotechnologies not only excel at the manipulation and analysis of single cells and molecules, but also are cost-effective and easily accessible — democratizing advanced biotechnology capabilities to solve medical problems. Instead of scaling down macroscale concepts, Di Carlo takes advantage of unique physics at small scales to process and analyze cells and manufacture smart biomaterials structured at sizes smaller than a human hair. The tools and technologies he develops are laying the foundation for methods to sense and treat disease at its earliest stages, which will ultimately increase healthspan and reduce healthcare costs.

Recognizing a gap in the accessibility of specialized technologies, Di Carlo is developing low-cost reagent platforms compatible with infrastructure already present in laboratories around the world to create self-contained smart “labs-on-a-particle.” This technology has enabled the discovery of new antibodies and links between cell function, genes and their expression. 

An additional area of focus for Di Carlo is creating microstructure biomaterials that are uniquely suited to aid tissue regeneration by molding to a wound site or by allowing minimally-invasive applications. This work serves as the foundation for his development of an injectable, interconnected microporous gel scaffold system that can serve as a stem cell delivery vehicle or a drug delivery scaffold for cancer immunotherapy.

Di Carlo invented the deformability cytometry technology commercialized by Cytovale as the FDA-cleared IntelliSep test for early diagnosis of sepsis. He is also creating a new platform technology to compartmentalize fluids and perform single-cell and single-molecule assays without complex instruments. 

  • Advancing a hydrogel microsphere technology that can be used in therapies to drive tissue regeneration and accelerate wound healing
  • Leveraging 3D porous injectable biomaterials to engineer vaccines that provide a longer-lasting immune response
  • Automating cellular and molecular evolution to accelerate the development of new therapies and biosensors that can detect and treat diseases at their earliest stages, increasing healthspan and reducing healthcare costs
  • Designing micro and nanotechnologies to sense and manipulate single cells and single molecules 
  • Post-doctoral fellowship

    • Clinical Microfluidics, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008


    • Ph.D., Bioengineering, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, 2006

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