Dr. Zhao's research focuses on developing translational biosensors, including implantable neuroprobes and wearable devices, to monitor chemical signaling in the body. Developing sensors that can monitor biomarkers in body fluids with high sensitivities and high selectivities is the key to unlock the next generation of bioelectronics. Advances have been made in healthcare monitoring and medical therapies with the potential for enhancing human wellbeing and performance yet to be realized. He is excited at the prospect of developing novel bioelectronics systems, such as implantable and wearable devices, and applying these systems in biomedicine.

Figure neuroprobe.png

Implantable aptamer–field-effect transistor neuroprobes for in vivo neurotransmitter monitoring (Science Advances 2021)


A universal platform to overcome Debye length limitations for small-molecule sensing using
aptamer field-effect transistor biosensors (iScience 2020ACS Sensors 2019, Science 2018)


Multiplexed and highly sensitive one-dimensional nanoribbon field-effect transistor biosensors
(ACS Nano 2021, iScience 2020Nano Letters 2018)


A high-throughput, low-cost, and large-area micro-/nanofabrication platform: chemical lift-off lithography
(ACS Nano 2021, ACS Materials Letters 2020, Nano Letters 2020Nano Letters 2018, Nano Letters 2017)

Research Experience

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UCLA                                                                                                20152020

Graduate researcher, principal investigator: Prof. Paul S. Weiss​

  • Nanoscale chemical patterning using soft lithography

  • Micro/nanoscale fabrication processes for precision medicine and intracellular delivery

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA                                                                          20152020

Graduate researcher, principal investigator: Prof. Anne M. Andrews

  • Ultra-sensitive aptamer-based neurochemical biosensors

  • Implantable silicon-based neuroprobes with arrays of aptamer-field-effect transistors