Amir Sanati Nezhad

Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Tier II Canada Research Chair

in Bio-Microelectromechanical Systems (BioMEMS)

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Biomedical Engineering

Harvard University, 2014-2015

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Biomedical Engineering

McGill University, 2013-2014

PhD - Mechanical Engineering

Concordia University, 2013

Contact information


Mechanical Engineering Building : MEB214

Office hours

Monday - 10 am to 11 am (by appointment)

Or, by appointment


Undergraduate courses

Biomedical Engineering Research Thesis (BMEN 500)

Biomedical Engineering Project (BMEN 501)

Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems (ENMF 529)

Introduction to Biomedical Engineering (BMEN 301)

Preferred method of communication

Inquiries: For general questions please email me at

Projects available in Dr. Sanati's lab include:

Lab-on chip
Microfluidics - microelectronics
Single cell analysis
High-throughput cellular analysis
Droplet microfluidics
Digital microfluidics
Tissue engineering
Organ-on-chip and physiological models
Surface chemistry
Microcontact printing
Rare cells and sperm cells isolation
Biology of plant cells
Electrochemotaxis or neural and immune cells
Nanofiber and nanoparticle synthesis
Targeted drug delivery
Point-of-care microdevices
Pathogen detection


Research areas

  • Tissue mechanics
  • Cell mechanics
  • Biosensors
  • Molecular, cellular and tissue engineering 
  • Biomaterials
  • Medical devices
  • Advanced materials and additives
  • Reservoir simulation
  • Smart materials
  • Multifunctional materials
  • Nanomaterials and technologies
  • Emission reduction technologies

Research activities

Tissue and cell mechanics

Cells are influenced mainly by a combination of mechanical, chemical and electrical cues through their surrounding environment. These cues become particularly important when they are externally applied to the cells to conduct the cell response. For instance, how invading cancer cells can be inhibited by the cues to prevent metastasis, how an electrical signal can be externally applied to immune cells at the wound site to treat the wound and how the injured neural cells and axons can be stimulated by external cues for neural regeneration purposes. 

Although significant work has been carried out to find out the chemical stimulators for directing the cell migration or growth for therapy purposes, the effect of mechanical cues on regulating the cell response is still limited due to technical challenges. Our lab is focused on studying the effects of mechanical cues on cell response at both the single cell and the high-throughput level by developing integrated microfluidic platforms. The major biomechanical parameters include the driving growth or migratory force, the invasive force, the rigidity of the nucleus, the mechanical properties of cell membrane/ cell wall which can be addressed by integrated manipulating systems such as micro-needles, micro-constricts, microcantilevers, AFM manipulators. The effect of chemical and electrical stimulations on the biomechanics of the cells will also be investigated to find out how the mechanics of the cells can regulate the migratory or growth pattern of the cells or tissues for future therapeutic applications. The final stage is to employ the mechanical principles to develop theoretical and numerical cell models in order to predict the behavior of various cells in response to mechanical cues while the model is supported by the experimental data.

Tissue engineering and biomaterials

We intend to combine micro/nanotechnology and tissue engineering approaches to make organ-on-chip platforms with the applications in disease modeling, drug discovery, pharmacology and tissue engineering. Our lab mainly models those organs that the mechanical stimulation plays a key role on their performance such as innervated or vascularized tissues in the peripheral or central nervous system such as the knee, shoulder, bone, elbow, spinal cord and brain tissues. We develop physiologically relevant innervated and vascular tissues by integrating multilayer microfluidic chips, tissue engineering principles, and integrated biosensors and biophysical sensors. The synthesized 3D biomimetic tissues are further subjected to the chronic and high impact mechanical loading in order to develop future healing methods and treatment protocols, particularly in areas where the injury to these tissues produces inflammation. Computational models will also be coupled to the fabricated tissue to develop future predictive models. Achieving this goal would provide a tremendous advantage and reduce the need for numerous animal or human tests and will also have applications in developing therapies for injured tissues. 

Biosensors and medical devices

The BioMEMS and Bioinspired Microfluidics (BioM) Laboratory will use the knowledge in microfluidics, micro/nanotechnology, surface chemistry, and cellular/molecular biology to develop innovative sensors and point-of-care microdevices for medical applications with the particular focus on optofluidic and electrochemical sensors for detecting HIV, cancers, and emerging deadly and infectious diseases. This technology will also be adapted to develop portable devices for on-site detection of plant and food pathogens.

Micromodels and nanomaterials for enhanced oil recovery

We develop microfluidic platforms with integrated sensors to make high pressure and high temperature flow cells for modeling of reservoir conditions. We do also develop noncontact sensors that monitor fluid composition and screen the oil recovery performance. We also develop new nanomaterials and emulsions for enhanced oil recovery application. 


Selected Journal publications

Salahandish R, Ghaffarinejad A, Omidinia E, Zargartalebi H, Majidzadeh K, Naghib N, Sanati-Nezhad A, "Label-free ultrasensitive detection of breast cancer miRNA-21 biomarker employing electrochemical nano-genosensor based on sandwiched AgNPs in PANI and N-doped graphene", Biosensors and Bioelectronics,, 2018.

Khetani S, Kollath V, Kundra V, Dang Nguyen M, Debert C, Sen A, Kunal K, Sanati-Nezhad A, “Polyethylenimine modified graphene-oxide electrochemical immunosensor for the detection of glial fibrillary acidic protein in central nervous system injury” ACS Sensors,  3 (4), 844-851, 2018.

Salahandish R, Ghaffarinejad A, Naghib M, Majidzade M, A. Sanati-Nezhad, “Nano-biosensor for highly sensitive detection of HER2 positive breast cancer”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 117, 104-111, 2018. 

Zarifi M, Sadabadi H, Hejazi H, Daneshmand M, Sanati-Nezhad A, "Noncontact and nonintrusive microwave-microfluidic flow sensor for energy and biomedical engineering", Nature Scientific Reports, 8(139), 1-10, 2018.

Zhang Y, Sanati-Nezhad A, Hejazi H, “Geo-material surface modification of microchips by layer-by layer (LbL) assembly for subsurface energy and environmental applications”, Lab on a Chip, 18, 285 – 295, 2018. COVER PAGE

Lee E.K.S, Gillrie M.R, Arnason J. W, Kim J. H, Li L, Lou Y, Sanati-Nezhad A, Kyei S. K., Mody C.H, Ho M, Yipp, B, “Early intravascular neutrophil swarming leads to occlusive clusters in pulmonary vessels during fungal sepsis”, Cell Host and Microbe, 23, 121–133.e4 I, 2018. 
Hasanpour-Tamrin S, Taheri H, Hasani-Sadrabadi M, Tondar M, Mousavi H, Majedi F. S, Dashtimoghadam E, Adibi A, Sanati-Nezhad A, Mahmoudi M “Nano scale optoregulation of neural stem cell differentiation by intracellular alterationof redox balance”, Advanced Functional Materials 2017.

Khetani S, Aburashed R, Sen A, Sanati-Nezhad A, “Immunosensing of S100b biomarker for diagnosis of Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)”, Sensors & Actuators: B. Chemical, 247: 163-169, 2017.
Zhang Y. S, Aleman J, Shin R, Kilic T, Kim S, Shaegh S. A. M, Massa S., Riahi R, Chae R, Hu N, Zhang W, Silvestri A, Sanati-Nezhad A, Manbohi A, Ferrari A, Polini A, Calzone G, Shaikh N, Alerasool P, Budina E, Kang J, Bhise N, Ribas J, Pourmand J, Skardal A, Shupe T, Bishop C.E, Remzi Dokmeci M, Atala A, Khademhosseini A “A multi-sensor-integrated organ-on-chips platform for automated and continual in-situ monitoring of organoid behaviors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(12): 2293–2302, 2017.

Janmaleki M, Pachenari M, Seyedpour S. M, Shahghadami R, Sanati-Nezhad A, “Impact of simulated microgravity on cytoskeleton and viscoelastic properties of endothelial cell”, Scientific Reports. 6, 32418-11, 2016.

Barani A, Paktinat H, Janmaleki M, Mohammadi A, Mosaddegh P, Fadaei-Tehrani A, Sanati-Nezhad A, “Microfluidic integrated acoustic waving for manipulation of cells and molecules”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 85: 714–725, 2016. 

Gholizadeh S, Draz M, Zarghooni M, Sanati-Nezhad A, Shafiee H, Akbari M, “Microfluidic approaches for isolation, detection, and characterization of extracellular vesicles: current status and future directions”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 91: 588–605, 2016.

Sanati-Nezhad A, Naghavi M, Packirisamy M, Bhat R, Geitmann A, "Quantification of cellular penetrative forces using Lab-on-a-Chip technology and reverse engineering", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110: 8093-8098, 2013.


2018  Tier II Canada Research Chair in BioMEMS 

2018  Schulich School of Engineering Research Award, University of Calgary

2017 Schulich School of Engineering Early Career Award, University of Calgary

2015  CMC Microsystem Douglas R Colton Medal for Research Excellence, Canada

2015  Outstanding Teaching Performance Award, Biomedical Engineering, University of Calgary  

2013  The Governor General's Gold Medal, Government of Canada