Simon, Melinda


Assistant Professor




Preferred: (408) 924-3956

Office Hours

By arrangement


San José State University,
One Washington Square,
San José, CA 95192-0085.


  • B.S. (Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, OH)
  • M.S. (Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis)
  • Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine)


Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (San José State University)
  • Post-doctoral Scholar (Materials Engineering Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA)
  • Post-doctoral Scholar (Surgery Department, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA)

Honors and Awards

  • California Institute of Regenerative Medicine Predoctoral Fellow, 2013-2014
  • ARCS Foundation Scholar, Orange County chapter, 2012-2014
  • NSF-IGERT LifeChips Fellow, UC Irvine, 2009-2012

Teaching Interests

  • BME 175 Biomaterials (Fall 2017)
  • BME 254 Microscale Biomedical Systems (Fall 2017)

Research and Scholarly Interests

  • Microfluidics for single cell analysis
  • Designs for more efficient dielectrophoresis-based cell sorting
  • Automated cell culture on a digital microfluidic platform

Current Research

  • Multi-step assays in droplets

Picoliter and nanoliter droplets, produced using microfluidics have been used to great advantage in conducting biological assays in a miniaturized format. Compartmentalization using droplets enables the study of individual cells one by one (single cell analysis), and concentrates the signal in fluorescence-based detection schemes, providing an advantage in lowering the limit of detection. A major limitation of this technology is the difficulty encountered in conducting assays involving multiple steps since reagent addition and complete solution exchange can be quite difficult. We are working to develop technology to enable the addition and removal of materials from droplets, enabling assays involving multiple steps to be performed, and vastly expanding the applications of droplet microfluidics.

  • Long-term cell culture on digital microfluidic platform

Digital microfluidics (also known as Electrowetting-on-Dielectric, or EWOD) technology automates droplet manipulation on surfaces to allow mixing, addition of reagents, and splitting of droplets into smaller volumes and has been used to conduct biological assays in nanoliter to microliter volumes. We are using this technology to automate cell culture and cell-based assays.

Selected Publications

Google Scholar page

  1. Luo, J.*, Simon, M.G.*, Jiang, A. Y. L., Nelson, E.L., Lee, A.P., Li, G.P., and M. Bachman. (2016) 3-D In-Bi-Sn Electrodes for Lab-on-PCB Cell Sorting. IEEE Trans Components, Packaging, Manufacturing Tech, 6 (9) 1295-1300. doi: 10.1109/TCPMT.2016.2573161
  2. Simon, M.G., Li, Y., Arulmoli, J., McDonnell, L., Akil, A. Nourse, J.L., Lee, A.P, and L.A. Flanagan. (2014) Increasing Label-Free Stem Cell Sorting Capacity to Reach Transplantation-Scale Throughput. Biomicrofluidics, 8 (6) 064106. doi: 10.1063/1.4902371
  3. Patel, M., Nanayakkara, I., Simon, M.G., and Lee, A.P. (2014) Cavity-Induced Microstreaming for Simultaneous On-Chip Pumping and Size-Based Separation of Cells and Particles. Lab on a Chip, 14 (19), 3860-3872. doi: 10.1039/c4lc00447g
  4. Winkler, M.*, Simon, M.G.*, Vu, T., Gartner, T., Lee, A.P., Brown, D.J., and J.V. Jester. (2014) A Microfabricated, Optically-Accessible Device to Study the Effects of Mechanical Cues on Collagen Fiber Organization, Biomedical Microdevices, 16 (2) 255-67. doi: 10.1007/s10544-013-9829-x
  5. Lin, R., Fisher, J., Simon, M.G., and Lee, A.P. (2012) Novel On-Demand Droplet Generation for Selective Fluid Sample Extraction. Biomicrofluidics, 6 (2) 024103. doi: 10.1063/1.3699972
  6. Simon, M.G.*, Lin, R*, Fisher, J.F. and Lee, A.P. (2012) A Laplace pressure based microfluidic trap for passive droplet trapping and controlled release. Biomicrofluidics, 6 (1) 014110. doi: 10.1063/1.3687400

Professional Service

  1. Assistant to the Editor, Lab on a Chip, 2011-2014
  2. Reviewer
    Lab on a Chip, Nature Protocols, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Analyst, Integrative Biology, Biomedical Microdevices
  3. Graduate Studies Admissions Committee, Biomedical Engineering Department, University of California, Irvine


M.S. students

  1. Priya Nimbalkar
  2. Ashley Hall