Venkata "Ravi" Yelleswarapu

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  • My research brings together various fields to tackle high-impact problems using microchip tech.
    My research brings together various fields to tackle high-impact problems using microchip tech.
  • Got to present at Microsoft Research Redmond HQ after receiving a MSFT PhD Fellowship.
    Got to present at Microsoft Research Redmond HQ after receiving a MSFT PhD Fellowship.
  • SVBTrek 2017- dinner with Silicon Valley Bank's CEO! A conference to learn about entrepreneurship and network with VCs, founders, and students from 15 universities around the world.
    SVBTrek 2017- dinner with Silicon Valley Bank's CEO! A conference to learn about entrepreneurship and network with VCs, founders, and students from 15 universities around the world.
  • Won first prize at the Nano Center Poster contest.
    Won first prize at the Nano Center Poster contest.
  • Y-Prize Presentation with  on commercializing our high-throughput droplet maker.
    Y-Prize Presentation with on commercializing our high-throughput droplet maker.
  • Won First Prize at the Biomedical Graduate Student Association Symposium poster contest!
    Won First Prize at the Biomedical Graduate Student Association Symposium poster contest!
  • A recent publication in Lab on a Chip on high-throughput droplet generation
    A recent publication in Lab on a Chip on high-throughput droplet generation
My research brings together various fields to tackle high-impact problems using microchip tech.
My research brings together various fields to tackle high-impact problems using microchip tech.

Major Awards

  • Microsoft Fellowship Recipient: Two year PhD fellowship sponsored by Microsoft Research. (12 Nationwide). Got to meet all of MSFT Research executives and see Bill Gates and Satya Nadella!
  • Silicon Valley Bank Trek (~20 students Nationwide): Four-day event to connect and pitch with VCs, partners, entrepreneurs, and investors in Silicon Valley. While I was already involved in ChipDiagnostics, this event was extremely inspiring and made me even more committed to commercializing tech.
  • Launched Chip Diagnostics – a startup based on my PhD work for ultrasensitive, multiplexed detection of biomarkers on a portable platform, with investment from IPGroup PLC
  • Trustee Scholar- most prestigious merit-based award at BU that recognizes outstanding academic and leadership abilities. (Full tuition scholarship, ~20/4400 class)
  • Kilachand Honors College: a multidisciplinary program for high-achieving students (~40/4400 seniors).                                                                                            
I've listed major presentations at conferences below and highlighted awards received at the conferences. As detailed more in Personal Interests, I love graphic design/animations of my science to explain my research in a simple and visual way. In addition, I generally love to pitch new ideas after getting involved in the startup scene/commercializing, so I put a lot of effort into conference contests and presentation competitions (cash prizes are also a good incentive hahaha). I believe that while great science is crucial, it will never be truly appreciated unless it is easily understood since MANY people from various backgrounds have to be engaged in order to translate a technology to its full potential.

Publications and Patents

6) VR. Yelleswarapu, D. Issadore. Multicolor detection of fluorescent droplets on a cell phone using time domain encoded optofluidics. Healthcare Innovations and Point of Care Technologies (HI-POCT), 2017 IEEE, 245-248.


5)  VR. Yelleswarapu, H. Jeon, S. Yadavali, D. Issadore, Ultra-High Throughput Detection (1 Million Droplets / Second) of Fluorescent Droplets Using a Cell Phone Camera and Time Domain Encoded Optofluidics, Lab on  a Chip, 7, DOI: 10.1039/C6LC01489E, 2016.


4) J. Ko, M. A. Hemphill, D. Gabrieli, L. Wu, V. Yelleswarapu, G. Lawrence, W. Pennycooke, A. Singh, D. Meaney, D. Issadore, Smartphone-enabled optofluidic exosome diagnostic for concussion recovery, Scientific Reports, 6, 31215, 2016.  Patent WO2017074658A1


3)  V.R. Yelleswarapu*, J. Ko*, A. Singh, N. Shah, D. Issadore, Magnetic Nickel iron Electroformed Trap (MagNET): A master / replica fabrication strategy for ultra-high throughput (> 100 mL/hr) immunomagnetic sorting, Lab on a Chip, DOI: 10.1039/C6LC00487C, 2016. 

*Equal Contribution


2) HH Jeong, VR Yelleswarapu, S Yadavali, D Issadore, D Lee. “Kilo-scale droplet generation in three-dimensional monolithic elastomer device (3D MED)”. Lab on a Chip, 2015. DOI: 10.1039/C5LC01025J

Patent WO2017053678A1


1) VR Yelleswarapu, FL Liu, W Cong, G Wang. "Top-Level System Designs for Hybrid Low-field MRI-CT with Potential of Pulmonary Imaging." Sensing and Imaging, 2014.  Provisional patent (US 61/857,848)

Conference Presentations & Awards

14)  V Yelleswarapu, "Ultra-Sensitive (< 0.001 pg/mL), Multiplexed Detection of Cytokines using Digital Droplet ELISA with High Throughput, Portable Cell Phone Based Readout". NEBEC, March 2018. 

13) V Yelleswarapu, "High throughput detection of protein molecules in a digital droplet assay". Penn Bioengineering Symposium, January 2018.  First place in Poster Contest and Oral Presentation. 

    12)  V Yelleswarapu, Multicolor detection of fluorescent droplets on a cell phone using time domain encoded optofluidics. Healthcare Innovations and Point of Care Technologies (HI-POCT), 6-8 Nov. 2017. Finalist

    11) V Yelleswarapu, "Single Molecule Sensitivity Diagnostics On a Cell Phone Based Platform". Microfluidics Congress Conference, July 2017. First place in Microfluidics Poster Contest. 

    10) V Yelleswarapu. “Self-Contained, High Throughput Droplet Digital Assays on a Cell Phone Based System for Sensitive Detection of Nucleic Acids and Proteins.” Gordon Conference, Tuscany, Italy – June 2017.

9) V Yelleswarapu, "Single Molecule Sensitivity Diagnostics On a Cell Phone Based Platform". Penn iTalks. First place & Overall Judges Favorite Cash Prize. 

8) V Yelleswarapu, "Ultra-High Throughput Detection (> 1 million droplets / sec) of Fluorescent Droplets    Using a Cell Phone Camera and Time Domain Encoded Optofluidics". SELECTBIO 2017: BioMEMS,  Microfluidics & Biofabrication: Technologies and Applications


7) Oral presentation & Poster presentation at BMES 2016, Minneapolis. 


6)  VR Yelleswarapu, “Diagnostics on Hybrid Microfluidic-Electronic Chips.” Microsoft Research. May 2016.


5)  VR Yelleswarapu*, J Ko*, A Singh, D Issadore. “Magnetic Nickel-iron Electroformed Trap (MagNET) for    high throughput immunomagnetic sorting.” (First Prize Singh Nano Center Poster Contest)


4) Yelleswarapu V, Muluneh M, Issadore D. “Point-of-Care Microfluidic Detector based on Amplitude  Modulation for Parallel, Digital Diagnostic Assays.” Penn Science Student Research Symposium 2015.  First Place in Poster Contest.


3) VR Yelleswarapu, FL Liu, W Cong, G Wang. "Top-Level System Designs for Hybrid Low-field MRI-CT  with Potential of Pulmonary Imaging." Sensing and Imaging, 2014. Provisional patent (US 61/857,848), Poster Presentation on August 8, 2013.


2) Engineered Microenvironments to Parse the Role of Stiffness and Nanotopography in Metastasis.” CHM  & MRSEC REU Presentation. UMASS Amherst; August 3, 2011. 


1) "Clinical Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging." Northeastern Young Scholars Program with Dr.    DiMarzio. Poster Presentation. Northeastern University; August, 2009.

News Archive

March 30, 2018

Presenting digital ELISA results at NEBEC conference, and learned a lot at my first case competition at PGCC


March 25, 2018

A busy weekend! New PR on the Love Run Half Marathon with 7:17 min/mi pace (life goal achieved!); ~3 years of piano and the Halo Theme; and building a functional Opioid Overdose alert system at the Rothberg Catalyzer!


February 10, 2018

Went to Final Fantasy Distant Worlds last month with composers Nobuo Uematsu/Yoko Shimomura in attendance! Got inspired, played Somnus on Piano. Also thought the Westworld cover of Runaway during the Superbowl was amazing, so tried playing it!


January 8, 2018

Won best talk and best poster at Bioengineering Annual Symposium!


January 5, 2018

Traveled to London, Paris, and Belgium over winter break! New Travel blog post accordingly. 


December 22, 2017

IEEE Proceedings on multicolor droplet detection was just published! And more crypto/investing thoughts while I wait at the airport. 


November 27, 2017

Finished my first marathon and explored Hong Kong over Thanksgiving! Another unnecessarily long blog post on the trip


September 28, 2017

Accepted as a Finalist for the IEEE HI-POCT Student Award Competition.


September 1, 2017

Submitted a 4-page contribution to IEEE HI-POCT Conference- fingers crossed!


August 31, 2017

Signed up for my first marathon! Had to Uber back after mi 16 today, so let's see hope I improve in 2.5 mo for the Philly Marathon!


July 27, 2017

Achieved a life goal - won first place at South House Quizzo! (barely contributed, but still)


July 25-26, 2017

Presented my droplet work at the Microfluidics Congress Conference, and won the Microfluidics poster contest!


July 17, 2017

Got interested into cryptocurrency but realized I don't really know anything about it... writing my experiences with the emerging tech in Medium.


June 15, 2017

Had an amazing time at the Gordon Conference and travelling Italy! Decided to write a blog to remember this great experience.


May 22, 2017

Heading out to Italy for the Gordon Conference Microfluidics in Lucca, Tuscany!


April 24, 2017

Finished thesis proposal!


April 21, 2017

Learned Circle of Life on Piano! (2y2mo progress of teaching myself piano). 


March 29, 2017

Won first place at Penn iTalks and got the $500 Judge's Favorite Award! Check out my talk here.


March 15, 2017

Heading out in the blizzard to give a talk on my latest work at SelectBio's Bioengineering 2017 Conference in Boston!


March 1, 2017

Chip Diagnostics, a company spun out of our lab, has received a second round of funding from the IP Group!


February 21, 2017

It's been two years since I began teaching myself piano and I somehow haven't quit! Check out my "progress" (I hope) if you are interested.


February 14, 2017

Our paper on ultra-high throughput droplet detection on a cell phone based system was published on Lab on a Chip!


January 3-7, 2017

Had an amazing time at San Francisco participating in the SVBTrek - a four day event hosted by Silicon Valley Bank where we met VCs, partners, entrepreneurs and the great minds driving change in the startup world.


December, 2016

Submitted a manuscript on Ultrahigh throughput droplet detection using a cell phone camera for rapid, point-of-care droplet microfluidics.


November 19, 2016

Finished my first half marathon and reached my goal to finish in 1h49m! Gonna be completely honest... this was just as exciting as a publication haha.


October 8, 2016

Giving a talk and a poster presentation at BMES 2016 in Minneapolis!


September 28, 2016

Selected for the Silicon Valley Bank Trek 2017 in San Francisco.  


August 8, 2016

We recently published on a cell phone based traumatic brain injury diagnostic in Scientific Reports!


July 12, 2016

Got to visit the Microsoft Faculty Summit in Seattle and see Bill Gates and Satya Nadella. It was great to personally meet the senior executives of MSFT Research!


May 20, 2016

Invited to Microsoft Research to present my work on Hybrid Microfluidic/Electronic chips. Had a great time at MSR and Seattle!


May 5, 2016

Check out our publication demonstrating 100x improved flow rate over previous devices at capturing circulating tumor cells with our electroformed magnetic micropore chip! 


March 29, 2016

Honorable Mention for NSF Fellowship.


February 23, 2016

We recently launched a startup - Chip Diagnostics. Excited to see research go from bench to commercial products!


January 15, 2016

Selected as a recipient for the Microsoft PhD Fellowship!


November 4, 2015

Selected as a finalist for the Microsoft Research Fellowship Program!


October 27, 2015

Won first prize at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology Annual User meeting


September 29, 2015

Check out our publication in Lab on A Chip on generating one BILLION droplets/min on a microfluidic chip.


September 16, 2015

Advising as a tech consultant to this year's competitors in Penn's YPrize competition using our Microfluidic Droplet Maker Technology.


August 31, 2015

Passed the BE Qualifiers Exam. Officially a PhD Candidate now!


March 20, 2015

Won the first place prize at Penn Science Student Research Symposium 2015 - a poster contest featuring 45 graduate students' research through Penn.


April 19, 2015

Accepted to the Penn Center for Innovation Fellows program - a tech transfer program to learn about IP law and licensing strategies.


March 20, 2015

Won the first place prize at Penn Science Student Research Symposium 2015 - a poster contest featuring 45 graduate students' research through Penn.


September 2014

Joined the Issadore lab as a 1st year Bioengeering PhD student at University of Pennsylvania


May 2014

Graduated from Boston University Summa Cumme Laude with a double major in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, Concentration in Nanotech, and part of the Kilachand Honors Program.


November 14, 2013

Made the first cut (Top 18%) for the Hertz Fellowship. Interview in late November for advancing to second round.


October 8, 2013

Manuscript "Top-Level System Designs for Hybrid Low-field MRI-CT with Potential of Pulmonary Imaging" accepted in Sensing and Imaging


June 28, 2013

Submitted a patent disclosure form at RPI for a new technology we developed at Dr. Wang's lab at RPI.

Academic Background

I am currently a fourth year PhD candidate in Bioengineering at Upenn. As part of the Issadore Lab, I create microfluidic devices for diagnostic or high-throughput applications. I was fortunate enough to receive funding through the Microsoft PhD Fellowship; and also be a part of launching Chip Diagnostics - a startup based off our lab's research in droplet based technology.


As an undergrad, I graduated with a double major in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from Boston University. I was lucky to receive the Trustee Scholarship, a full tuition merit based scholarship for all four years. I was also in the vanguard class of the Kilachand Honors College - an interdisciplinary program that merged disciplines across the entire university in seminar based classes.

Kilachand Honors College during Undergrad

KHC is a four-year undergraduate program that offers students the small classes, personal attention, close interaction with faculty, and communal atmosphere of a small liberal arts college together with the intellectual range and resources of a major urban research university.


I was able to take courses outside of engineering to understand where science fits into society as a whole.It made me realize that research itself is not enough to impact change, and an interdisciplinary approach is necessary.  At the time, I thought this was a huge timesink - but really appreciate being able to communicate with people from all backgrounds since societal problems cannot only be solved with engineers alone.