Jennifer Blain Christen received a bachelor’s degree (1999), master’s degree (2001) and doctorate (2006) in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation focused on hybrid systems for life science applications exemplified through the development of a micro-incubator for cell culture. Blain Christen held a Graduate Research Fellowship and a G K-12 fellowship both from the National Science Foundation. In her postdoctoral work at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Immunogentics Department, she developed a microfluidic platform for homogeneous HLA (human leukocyte antigen) allele detection. Her research interests involve design of analog and mixed-mode integrated electronics for direct interface via innovative fabrication techniques to aqueous environments with special emphasis on biological materials.
Blain Christen is currently leading the BioElectrical Systems and Technology group at Arizona State University. The group has recently focused on point-of-care diagnostics and flexible neural interfaces. Point-of-care research involves sensing the presence of biomarkers in sweat and blood. They are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore continuous sweat monitoring, and they are funded by the National Institutes of Health to create low-cost point of care HPV diagnostics for India. These projects in addition to other work in this area leverage Bluetooth communication (BLE) with smart phones to enable data transfer, storage and upload to the cloud. Blain Christen’s work in flexible neural interfaces includes an NSF CAREER award exploring the use of optogenetics in the peripheral nervous system to enable future applications in bioelectronic medicine. She is also working with the Mayo Clinic to develop ultra-thin, high-resolution multi-modal neural arrays.
Blain Christen serves on the Board of Governors for the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, and she is secretary of the Biomedical Circuits and Systems Technical Committee. She is also the advisor for the Medical 3D Printing student club.
- Bio-compatible integration techniques for CMOS electronics, microfluidics and soft lithography
- MEMS with emphasis on bio-MEMS
- analog and mixed-mode VLSI for bio-medical/analytical instrumentation including 3D and SOI technologies