Alar Ainla

Staff Researcher

Medical Devices

Alar joined INL at 2017 and is currently staff researcher at Medical Devices group, where his research is focused on the developments of integrated microfluidic systems and sensors for life-science and medical applications, involving micro- and nanofluidics, cell culture, electroanalytical chemistry, microfluidic flow-controls, electronics and software.

Alar has a background in applied sciences and engineering. He received BSc cum laude from University of Tartu (Estonia) in applied physics and information technology, after which he continued studies in organic and polymer chemistry at Uppsala University (Sweden). He obtained MSc in nanoscience and technology from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) and PhD in chemistry from the same university. His doctoral research at Chalmers was focused on microfluidic tools for biosciences. During his PhD, he invented a novel approach, how to apply microfluidics in single-cell studies and developed it from the idea into a product. After graduation, he joined Prof. George Whitesides group at Harvard University (US) as a postdoc. His research areas at Harvard included paper-and thread-based analytical devices, electrochemistry, microfluidics and soft-robotics. Besides academic research Alar has also had an interest in science and technology-based entrepreneurship, and he has been co-founder in startups, where his main role have been technology- and product development and intellectual property management (patenting process). In Harvard, he was a member of a venture incubation program at Harvard Innovation Labs (iLab). He has also taken part of other innovation and entrepreneurship courses and programs in Chalmers and in Harvard Business School.

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