Leyla Esfandiari

Leyla Esfandiari

Assoc Professor

Professional Summary

Dr. Esfandiari joined the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati as an Assistant Professor with dual appointment in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. She completed her doctoral degree in Bioengineering from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She earned her Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California Irvine with focus on design and development of a microfluidic platform for studying neurogenesis. Also, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University.
While at UCLA, Esfandiari also conducted research for the California Nano-System Institution (CNSI), and the Orthopedic Surgery Laboratory. During her academic training, Esfandiari has spent time giving back by leading and training graduate and undergraduate students in conducting research and experiments. Besides her academic practice, she has 4 years of industrial experience at  Applied Medical Co and Honeywell Inc.
Dr. Esfandiari has a multidisciplinary research background in development of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) for studying cell mechanics, nano-surface chemistry and development of molecular biosensors. At University of Cincinnati, she is leading the Integrative BioSensing Laboratory with the main focus on design and development of miniaturized biosensors and bio-platforms for point-of-care (POC) medical diagnostics, preventive and therapeutic medicine. 


Ph.D.: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Los Angeles CA, 2014 (Bioengineering )

MS.c. : University of California Irvine (UCI) Irvine CA, 2008 (Biomedical Engineering )

B.S: California State University Long Beach CA, 2006 (Electrical Engineering )

Research and Practice Interests

Rapid, sensitive, portable and robust detection of biomolecules is of significant interest in a range of diverse health-related applications such as screening for oncogenes in cancer, drug screening in pharmaceutical industry, pathogen microbe identification in food and water safety, paternity test in forensic science and detection of bio-warfare agent in homeland security. However, the majority of the conventional detection methods are relying on tedious sample preparation techniques, target amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme and fluorescent labeling, or sophisticated/bulky instrumentation. To address these shortcomings, Esfandiari’s research group is utilizing nanotechnology and microfabrication techniques to develop reagent-free handheld and wearable diagnostic devices with high sensitivity, selectivity and stable shelf life.
Additionally, she is interested in design and implementation of bio-platforms for investigating the effect of quantitatively controlled applied cues on various cell types to study the cell signaling pathways. Studying the micron-scale biological units under controlled heterogeneous environmental cues is crucial for understanding tissue functions and ultimately the organ system. The systematic investigation of basic biology under controlled applied forces has potential application in preventive, therapeutic, and regenerative medicine. 

Research Support

Grant: #ODOT 27834 Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla; Helmicki, Arthur; Hunt, Victor; Wendell, David 10-07-2016 -04-07-2017 Federal Highway Administration Noninvasive method to detect Eastern Hellbender in the state of Ohio using the environmental DNA Role:PI $98,541.11 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #30792 (FHWA), Hellbender Phase II Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla; Wendell, David 03-20-2018 -03-20-2021 Ohio Department of Transportation Phase II: Non-Invasive Detection and Identification of Eastern Hellbender in Ohio Surface Waters Using Aquatic Environmental DNA Role:Collaborator $659,659.69 Active Level:State of Ohio

Grant: #URS Strategic Collaborative Grants AY2017-2018 Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla 07-30-2015 -06-30-2017 UC's Research Support Non-invasive biosensing through skin: Integrated reverse iontophoresis extraction and electrochemical impendance spectroscopy detection Role:PI $125,000.00 Active Level:Internal UC

Grant: #307985_1R21CA240664-01 Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla 07-01-2019 -06-30-2021 National Institutes of Health Detection and characterization of cell type-specific extracellular vesicles in obesity-driven hepatocellular carcinoma Role:PI $56,635.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #2020112 Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla 05-15-2020 -04-30-2021 National Science Foundation EAGER: Characterization of nanovesicles based on their unique dielectric properties Role:PI $99,452.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #ECCS-2046037 Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla 01-01-2021 -12-31-2025 National Science Foundation CAREER: An electrokinetically driven micro-device for rapid purification and characterization of exosomes Role:PI $393,745.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #W81XWH-21-1-0174 Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla; Harris, Gregory 03-01-2021 -02-29-2024 Department of the Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity Next-Generation Smart Scaffolds for Regenerative Peripheral Nerve Therapeutics Role:Collaborator $115,145.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #DMR-2104639 Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla; Harris, Gregory 06-15-2021 -05-31-2024 National Science Foundation Bioactive, piezoelectric materials for real time monitoring and stimulation of neural networks Role:Collaborator 450000.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #R01NS128425 Investigators:Esfandiari, Leyla; Langevin, Scott; Walsh, Kyle; Woo, Daniel 07-19-2022 -06-30-2027 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke CAPSTONE: Central And Peripheral STrOke inflammatioN with Exosomes Role:Collaborator 776333.00 Awarded Level:Federal


Peer Reviewed Publications

Zhang Y.;Kaynak A.;Huang T.;Esfandiari L. (04-19-2019. ) A rapid bioanalytical tool for detection of sequence-specific circular DNA and mitochondrial DNA poi.Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, , 411 (10 ) ,1935-1941 More Information

Shi L.;Rana A.;Esfandiari L. (12-01-2018. ) A low voltage nanopipette dielectrophoretic device for rapid entrapment of nanoparticles and exosome.Scientific Reports, , 8 (1 ) , More Information

Rana A.;Zhang Y.;Esfandiari L. (07-07-2018. ) Advancements in microfluidic technologies for isolation and early detection of circulating cancer-re.Analyst, , 143 (13 ) ,2971-2991 More Information

Zhang Y.;Rana A.;Stratton Y.;Czyzyk-Krzeska M.;Esfandiari L. (09-05-2017. ) Sequence-Specific Detection of MicroRNAs Related to Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma at fM Concentrat.Analytical Chemistry, , 89 (17 ) ,9201-9208 More Information

Ventura S.;Heikenfeld J.;Brooks T.;Esfandiari L.;Boyce S.;Park Y.;Kasting G. (04-01-2017. ) Cortisol extraction through human skin by reverse iontophoresis.Bioelectrochemistry, , 114 ,54-60 More Information

Zhang Y.;Esfandiari L. (11-21-2016. ) Simultaneous detection of multiple charged particles using a borosilicate nanopore-based sensor.16th International Conference on Nanotechnology - IEEE NANO 2016, , 293-296 More Information

Ghobadi M.;Zhang Y.;Rana A.;Esfahani E.;Esfandiari L. (10-13-2016. ) Quantitative estimation of electro-osmosis force on charged particles inside a borosilicate resistiv.Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS, , 2016-October ,4228-4231 More Information

Esfandiari L.;Wang S.;Wang S.;Banda A.;Lorenzini M.;Kocharyan G.;Monbouquette H.;Schmidt J. (01-01-2016. ) PCR-independent detection of bacterial species-specific 16S rRNA at 10 fM by a pore-blockage sensor.Biosensors, , 6 (3 ) , More Information

Esfandiari L.;Lorenzini M.;Kocharyan G.;Monbouquette H.;Schmidt J. (10-07-2014. ) Sequence-specific DNA detection at 10 fM by electromechanical signal transduction.Analytical Chemistry, , 86 (19 ) ,9638-9643 More Information

Esfandiari L.;Monbouquette H.;Schmidt J. (09-26-2012. ) Sequence-specific nucleic acid detection from binary pore conductance measurement.Journal of the American Chemical Society, , 134 (38 ) ,15880-15886 More Information

Esfandiari L.;Paff M.;Tang W. (05-01-2012. ) Initial studies of mechanical compression on neurogenesis with neonatal neural stem cells.Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, , 8 (4 ) ,415-418 More Information

Esfandiari L.;Tang W. (12-01-2010. ) PDMS stretchable platforms for the studies of mechanical compression on neurogenesis.2010 IEEE International Conference on Nano/Molecular Medicine and Engineering, IEEE NANOMED 2010, , 26-29 More Information