Binary Research Group

Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, USA in 1998. The BINARY lab (Biology, Information science and Nanotechnology Applications and Research laboratorY) was founded in Spring 2003. The mission is to provide a cross-disciplinary research environment for exploring new nanoscale device & circuit designs and nanotechnology for bio-medical applications. Our primary research focuses include:

  1. Developing a pulsed-wave technology platform to stimulate cell growth (with the applications in cell therapy, tissue engineering, mental health and antibody productions), and microorganism growth (with the applications in increasing renewable biofuel /algal oil, antibiotics, omega-3, and wine/beverage productions);
  2. Building functional nanomaterials for water filtration (removing microorganisms, organic chemicals and heavy metals), gene transformation of agricultural products, targeted cancer imaging and treatment, gene/peptide/microRNA delivery (especially across the blood-brain-barrier);
  3. Designing portable impedance-based point-of-care devices for detecting metabolic biomarkers, monitoring environmental toxins, sensing plant infections at an earlier stage, and screening pathogens for food safety.

The University of Alberta is home to cutting edge facilities such as the National Institute for Nanotechnology, as well as having the interdisciplinary expertise to be an epicentre for new waves of innovation in Biomedical Engineering. The University of Alberta was ranked 46th in the world for the impact of its engineering publications.


Dr. Jie Chen was invited to give a Feature Presentation at "Engineering Expo 2015”     (02/10/2015)

(pleases refer to Bringing Star Trek medical technology to your basic home firstaid kit Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Jie Chen shows off a working model of a medical sensor that will conduct a suite of medical tests from your own home. Chen is speaking during Engineering Expo running 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 26, at the Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex. (Edmonton) Imagine the time, money, and lives that could be saved if we could use handheld technology that would quickly analyse our health and alert us to illnesses and disease. With the rise of sensors and new electronic devices to measure personal health, more advanced home health technology is on the horizon. You can learn more about what’s going on at the leading edge of research into this technology at Engineering Expo Sept. 26. Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Jie Chen is delivering a free talk on the subject. Entitled Turning your smart phone into a tricorder, the talk will focus on Chen’s research. He is developing a device that will be on par with the tricorder device made popular in Star Trek. Chen is developing a noninvasive handheld biosensor with a touchscreen that can be used by patients or physicians at home, on the go, or in the clinic to, in a matter of minutes, diagnose, monitor, and predict various health conditions including 50 plus common diseases that afflict more than 30 per cent of [ ... ]

Design of a Thermoacoustic Sensor for Low Intensity Ultrasound Measurements Based on an Artificial Neural Network    (19/08/2015)

By Jida Xing and Jie Chen  Was published in Sensors, 2015  "A novel two-layer thermoacoustic sensor based on an artificial neural network is described and investigated in this paper. The structure design improvement enables the sensor to reduce its measurement time from 20 s to 12 s. The artificial neural network algorithm is integrated in order to compensate for the influence of the temperature drifts, adapting the sensor for a range of ambient temperatures, and providing an accurate and consistent measurement of the ultrasound intensities. The experimental result show that the compensation provided by the artificial neural network reduced the temperature drift errors from more than 15% to 1%. The final results show that the new sensor achieves an average error of 1.31mW/cm2 over 18 measurement samples. The new sensor design is a low-cost alternative method that can provide rapid ultrasound intensity measurements without any complex set-up procedure. Although the radiation force balance is the golden standard method with minimal measurement error, the application of the technique is limited by the requirements of experience in regards to equipment set-up and operation. In addition, measurement accuracy is affected by background vibrations, which in turn limits its application in biology laboratories. The new thermoacoustic sensor design is an easy-to-operate alternative method for rapidly measuring low ultrasound intens [ ... ]

Killam Professorship    (22/06/2015)

(Edmonton) Jie Chen was thrilled to be named one of five University of Alberta recipients of a 2015 Killam Annual Professorship—less because of the personal recognition, and more because of the opportunities it opens up. “This recognition can bring me to the next level of excellence,” he said. A Killam can help open doors to further research collaborations, international awards, and funding opportunities, observed Chen. He takes particular pride in the fact that the Killam reflects all aspects of professorship. “The Killam Professorship is like a triathlon,” he said, “because it looks at your teaching, your research, and your community service.” The award represents a validation of Chen’s decision a decade ago to leave an Ivy League posting at Brown University for a fresh start at the U of A. “At the time, I was looking to work in a more multi-disciplinary area—more towards biomedical,” he said. “The National Research Council and its National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT—a world-class research facility operated jointly by the U of A and the NRC) were recruiting people worldwide.” The opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration began virtually the moment Chen arrived on campus. At an introductory workshop, Chen and other new faculty members were exploring ways to motivate students to study subjects they don’t like. “One of the other professors said, ‘I hate circuit design.’ So I stood up in front of my peers, an [ ... ]

Jie Chen will host a minisympsia and an invited session in coming EMBC'2015    (10/06/2015)

Jie Chen has proposed a minisympsia and an invited session in coming    37TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society MiCo - Milano Conference Center - Milan, Italy, August 25-29 2015  *The proposed sessions have been approved.
 TITLE: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Circuits and Systems (invited session) 1. Nitish V. Thakor from John Hopkins University will present the state of the art, novel technology and early experimental results to demonstrate progress towards peripheral nerve/muscle interface to the upper limb to achieve control of a dexterous prosthetic hand. 2. Mohamad Sawan from Polytechnique Montreal will present their finding in the interactions between parameters of the constant-current, biphasic square waveform with the intention of developing a stimulation efficient strategy. 3. Jie Chen from Univeristy of Alberta will present a pulsed wave device to increase hepatitis B vaccine production. The novelty is in its frequency (1.5MHz) and duty cycle (20%) of the pulsed wave design.  4. Wei Tang from New Mexico State University will present a 3Dprinted wearable backpack that allows chronic electrical stimulation of aquatic teleost fish. 5. Pedram Mohseni from Case Western Reserve University will present their current progress towards developing a miniaturized brain-machine-spinal cord interface that converts in real time the neural command signals recorded from the brain to electrical [ ... ]

"Low-intensity Pulsed Ultrasound for Stimulating Algal Oil Production" was accetped    (15/03/2015)

"Low-intensity Pulsed Ultrasound for Stimulating Algal Oil Production" was accetped by 5th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts, San Diego, USA, June 7-10, 2015

Appointed as an Associate Editor    (15/03/2015)

Appointed as an Associate Editor of Springer Journal of Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing in January 2015

US patent issued    (15/03/2015)

"Enhanced Animal Cell Growth Using Ultrasound", US patent, 8962290 B2 was issued Feb. 24, 2015

Treating Cancer Stem Cells and Cancer Metastasis Using Glucose-coated Gold Nanoparticles    (24/01/2015)

 "Treating Cancer Stem Cells and Cancer Metastasis Using Glucose-coated Gold Nanoparticles", to be for published in International Journal of Nanomedicine. Abstract:  Cancer ranks among the leading causes of human mortality. Cancer becomes intractable when it spreads from the primary tumor site to various organs (such as bone, lung, liver, and brain). Unlike solid tumor cells, cancer stem cells and metastatic cancer cells grow in a non-attached (suspension) form when moving from their source to other locations in the body. Due to the nature of non-attached growth, metastasis is often first detected in the circulatory systems, for instance in a lymph node near the primary tumor. Cancer research over the past several decades has primarily focused on treating solid tumors, but targeted therapy to treat cancer stem cells and cancer metastasis has yet to be developed. Because cancers undergo faster metabolism and consume more glucose than normal cells, glucose was chosen in this study as a reagent to target cancer cells. In particular, by covalently binding gold nanoparticles (GNPs) with thio-PEG (Polyethylene glycol) and thio-glucose, the resulting functionalized GNPs (Glu-GNPs) were created for targeted treatment of cancer metastasis and cancer stem cells. Suspension cancer cell THP-1 (human monocytic cell line derived from acute monocytic leukemia patients) was selected because it has properties similar to cancer stem cells and has been used as a metastatic cance [ ... ]

invited talk at Cambridge Healthtech Institute's 14th Annual PEPTALK     (24/01/2015)

Invited to give a talk "Increase Monoclonal Antibody Production Using Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound" in 14th Annual PEPTALK, January 19-23, 2015 in San Diego. The conference was organized by Cambridge Healthtech Institute.   Asked to chair the session "CHO cells -- Improving Production and Product Quality"

Guest editing a special issue for IEEE Symposium on Circuits and Systems 2014    (07/11/2014)

Guest editing a special issue for IEEE Transaction on Biomedical Circuits and Systems.  The papers are the selected paeprs from IEEE Symposium on Circuits and Systems 2014. The other two guest editors are Viktor Gruev from Washington University in St. Louis, USA and Guoxing Wang from Shanghai Jiaotong University, China. 

Invited talk at Washington University, St. Louis    (10/10/2014)

In Sept. 2014,  Dr. Chen was invited to give a talk " Pulsed-Wave Technology for Tissue Engineering, Cell Therapy and Renewable Biofuel" at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis

Applications of Low-intensity Pulsed Ultrasound to Increase Monoclonal Antibody Production inCHO Cells Using Shake Flasks or Wavebags    (10/05/2014)

Article title: Applications of Low-intensity Pulsed Ultrasound to Increase Monoclonal Antibody Production inCHO CellsUsing Shake Flasks or Wavebags Reference: ULTRAS4826 Journal title: Ultrasonics Corresponding author: Prof. Jie Chen First author: Dr. Yupeng Zhao Accepted manuscript (unedited version) available online: 9-MAY-2014 DOI information: 10.1016/j.ultras.2014.04.025 Dear Prof. Chen, We are pleased to inform you that your accepted manuscript (unformatted and unedited PDF) is now available online at: You might like to bookmark this permanent URL to your article. Please note access to the full text of this article will depend on your personal or institutional entitlements. This version of your article has already been made available at this early stage to provide the fastest access to your article. It is not intended to be the final version of your article. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final form. Please note changes to the article should not be requested at this stage. Your article can already be cited using the year of online availability and the DOI as follows: Author(s), Article Title, Journal (Year), DOI. Once the full bibliographic details (including volume and page numbering) for citation purposes are available, you will be alerted by e-mail. To track the status of your article throughout [ ... ]

Guest edited an '-OMICS' special issue for IEEE Transaction on Biomedical Circuits and Systems     (27/04/2014)

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS February 2014 Vol. 8 No. 1 ITBCCW (ISSN 1932-4545) TABLE OF CONTENT '-OMICS' SPECIAL ISSUE Guest Editors: Jie Chen, Shankar Subramaniam, D. Wishart and S. Wong Guest Editorial—Special Issue on '-Omics' Based Companion Diagnostics for Personalized Medicine Chen, J. ; Subramaniam, S. ; Wishart, D. ; Wong, S. Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on Volume: 8 , Issue: 1 Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/TBCAS.2014.2308993;arnumber=6777634&tag=1 Developing Trends in Aptamer-Based Biosensor Devices and Their Applications t, D. ; Xing, J.Z. ; Jie Chen Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on Volume: 8 , Issue: 1 Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/TBCAS.2014.2304718 Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 4 – 14;arnumber=6744673&searchWithin%3Dp_Publication_Title%3Atransaction+on+biomedical++circuits+and+systems%26searchWithin%3Dp_Volume%3A8%26searchWithin%3Dp_Issue%3A1 A Surface-Stress-Based Microcantilever Aptasensor Yang Choon Lim ; Kouzani, A.Z. ; Wei Duan ; Dai, X.J. ;Kaynak, A. ; Mair, D. Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on Volume: 8 , Issue: 1 Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/TBCAS.2013.2286255 Publication Year: 2014 , Page(s): 15 - 24;arnumber=6702518&searchWithin% [ ... ]

March 15, 2014 The Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) Fellow Award Ceremony    (24/03/2014)

Click the link above to see the certificate of the Institute of Engineering Canada 

IEEE TBIOCAS paper was accepted    (24/01/2014)

24-Jan-2014 Dear Prof. Chen: It will be our pleasure to accept your manuscript entitled "Developing Trends in Aptamer-based Biosensor Devices and Their Applications" for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems. Thank you for your fine contribution.  On behalf of the Editors of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, we look forward to seeing your manuscript enter production, and to receiving your future submissions of your latest and greatest work to the Transactions. Sincerely, Dr. Gert Cauwenberghs Editor in Chief, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems">

Selected as the Fellow of The Engineering Institute of Canada (加拿大工程学院院士)    (17/01/2014)

Dr Chen  It is a pleasure for me to inform you  that you have been selected to be inducted as an EIC Fellow.  For detail including past recipients see . Our 2014 award recipients will be presented at a gala banquet on Saturday, 15 March, 2014 in the Westin Hotel, 11 Colonel Bye Drive, Ottawa, Ontario. The reception will commence at 6:30 p.m. followed by the banquet at 7:30 p.m.  The dress code is business attire or black tie.   Regards  John Plant Executive Director Engineering Institute of Canada “Prosperity - Safety - Sustainability” LinkedIn: Join The EIC – ICI Group on LinkedIn

Paper was accepted in the Special Session in ISCAS 2014    (17/01/2014)

Dear Jie Chen, Congratulations ! Your paper number 2396 entitled "Biosensor Systems and Applications in Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics: a Review", has been accepted for Lecture presentation at The 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, to be held in Melbourne, Australia from June 1-5, 2014. We look forward to your participation and presentation at ISCAS 2014. Your paper has been assigned to SPECIAL SESSION: Microsystems for Biochemical Sensing Lecture session A2L-A. The full Conference schedule will be available on the ISCAS 2014 web site very soon. Be sure to check the conference web site ( often as important information is posted regularly on this site. If there are additional co-authors for this paper, please make sure to inform them of this decision. PLEASE ADHERE TO THESE REQUIREMENTS: 1. In order to guarantee inclusion in the conference program one author must be registered at the NON-STUDENT RATE by Feb 14, 2014 23:59 (GMT -0700), the author deadline.   2. Your completed IEEE copyright form must be received by Feb 14, 2014 23:59 (GMT -0700). The form and instructions can be found at 3. Your full paper in PDF format must be submitted no later than Feb 14, 2014 23:59 (GMT -0700) at this web site: Your paper must comply with the specifications outlined on the web site. Due to publication deadlines, no time exten [ ... ]

Invited Talks in Nov 2013    (27/12/2013)

(1) “Low-intensity Pulsed Ultrasound and Its Applications” by Academia Sinica (中央研究院, 台湾), the most preeminent academic institution in the Republic of China, Nov. 22, 2013 (
  (2) “Impedance-based Portable Devices for Bio-sensing” by National Tsing Hua University  (清华大学,台湾) (, Nov. 21, 2013
(3)“Ultrasound for Increasing Food and Biofuel Production", by Food Industry Research and Development Institute (   (4) “Nanotechnology in Increasing Regenerative Stem Cell Proliferation” by the 4th World Gene Convention, Hainan, China, Nov. 14, 2013
(5) "低强度脉冲超声波的生物愈合与生物燃料催化作用" by China University of Mining and Technology (, Nov. 9, 2013

Engineering stands out in technology commercialization    (01/11/2013)

Engineering stands out in technology commercialization By Richard Cairney October 29, 2013 Edmonton—Professors and graduate students from the Faculty of Engineering had a high profile at an recent event celebration technology commercialization at the University of Alberta. Electrical and Computer Engineering professors Jie Chen, Ying Tsui and Norman Beaulieu, along with Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering professors Steven Kuznicki, Jingli Luo and Sirish Shah and his former graduate student Shoukat Choudhru were honoured as patent recipients during a celebration of technology commercialization hosted by TEC Edmonton.  Chen and Tsui were honoured for their work in an interdisciplinary project with School of Dentistry professor Tarek El-Bialy. The research team has patented new ultrasound technology that promotes growth in dental tissue. The technology has been licensed to SmileSonica, a U of A spinoff company. “To be recognized in this community is great,” said Chen, who added that the interdisciplinary collaboration was sparked when he met El-Bialy at a forum for new professors several years ago. “It’s great to see a room full of researchers who are doing great work, but it’s even better when that research is turned into useful products that benefit society.” Beaulieu was honoured for his patent on channel estimators. His patented “gain estimator” technology measures amplification or negative amplification in wi [ ... ]

Ptrofessional certificate in communication    (29/10/2013)

Received professional certificate in communication skills by Trinity College London in Oct. 2013

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Dr. Jie Chen