2019 Scholarship Winner Feature – Fernando A. Robelledo Uscanga

Rutgers Student Receives Philadelphia STLE Award

L to R: Section Member Bill Tuszynski, Awardee Fernando A. Rebolledo Uscanga, Graduate Program Dir. Dr. Joseph W. Freeman

The Philadelphia Section of the STLE is pleased to award a $1,000 scholarship to Fernando Antonio Rebolledo Uscanga, a third-year PhD candidate in biomedical engineering working with Prof. Jeffrey Zahn at Rutgers University.

Rebolledo Uscanga’s work is focused on applying microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) into the biomedical field. In lieu of the more commonly used silicon and ceramic MEMS devices, this work used vapor-deposition of parylene membranes with integrated microchannels over fabricated electrodes for electrostatic actuation of the membrane as the fabrication technology.

These systems can be used as mechanical actuators to strain mechanically sensitive cells such as Mesenchymal Stem Cells where mechanical strain induces cell differentiation or straining osteocytes to promote bone growth.

A second application is to actuate the device at different resonant modes to create fluid circulation to mix co-infused streams within the microchannels. This mode can also be used to separate particles such as cells by managing the flow properties in the channels.

Rebolledo Uscanga is also studying plastic deformation and device failure during cyclic loading as well as the air-damping behavior of the devices.