News Release

Biomicrofluidics announces low-cost, 3D-printed microfluidic bioreactor as 2021 best paper award recipient

System captures recognition for its ability to support, image organoid cultures

Grant and Award Announcement

American Institute of Physics

Ikram Khan, winner of the Biomicrofluidics 2021 Best Paper award

image: Ikram Khan, winner of the Biomicrofluidics 2021 Best Paper award view more 

Credit: Khan

MELVILLE, N.Y., July 12, 2022 – Biomicrofluidics, a publication of AIP Publishing, selected Ikram Khan as the winner of its 2021 Best Paper award. The designation highlights significant contributions by emerging authors in microfluidics and nanofluidics and is determined by an expert panel of judges.

"We at Biomicrofluidics are always keen to support the early-career researchers in our community," said Leslie Yeo, editor-in-chief of Biomicrofluidics. "Recognizing and celebrating their successes is one of the ways we do this, and we are delighted to present this award to Ikram Khan."

In the winning paper, "A low-cost 3D printed microfluidic bioreactor and imaging chamber for live-organoid imaging," Khan, Anil Prabhakar, at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and Mriganka Surs, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed a system capable of supporting brain organoid growth while allowing long-term live imaging and drug delivery support. Organoids, or biological systems grown in vitro, act as important models for studying normal and diseased development.

"It is a great privilege and honor to receive this award on behalf of my team. This is a clear message that no matter where you come from, your dreams are valid with hard work and perseverance," said Khan. "My dreams were shaped by extraordinary mentors at different phases of my life. They pushed me to go beyond boundaries and realize the influence science and technology can have on people."

Khan is the CEO and director of ISMO Bio-Photonics Pvt. Ltd., where he develops cutting-edge technology products, such as organ-on-a-chip bioreactors for cancer drug screening and preclinical trials, fiber lasers, biosensors, and multiphoton microscopy.

"We are working to model diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease," he said. "We are committed to developing advanced medical instruments at an affordable cost."

"Live imaging of 3D organoids during their culture in an integrated bioreactor configuration has been a long-standing challenge, particularly in a miniaturized microfluidic setup," said Yeo. "Ikram Khan and his team have developed a facile way to efficiently maintain and monitor the culture of these cellular bodies with a simple and extremely low-cost chip scale device, thereby facilitating a means to better study disease progression and treatment."

Khan obtained his master's degree in optoelectronics from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, where he constructed an ultrashort-pulsed fiber laser for multiphoton imaging, microfluidics, and diverse biophotonics applications. He received a bachelor's degree in electronics and communication engineering from Anna University. As a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he developed the collaboration that led to the winning paper.

By continuing the work, Khan aims to advance neurodegenerative disease modeling and cancer drug screening. He hopes his scientific background and entrepreneurial zeal will take technology beyond the lab to people in need.



The purpose of the Biomicrofluidics Best Paper Award is to recognize significant contributions by emerging authors in microfluidics and nanofluidics. An expert panel of judges review submissions based on their scientific content and select a winner.  The winner of the BMF Best Paper Award will receive a cash prize of $2,500. For questions about eligibility, the selection process, or the award, send an email to


Biomicrofluidics rapidly disseminates research in fundamental physicochemical mechanisms associated with microfluidic and nanofluidic phenomena. The journal also publishes research in unique microfluidic and nanofluidic techniques for diagnostic, medical, biological, pharmaceutical, environmental, and chemical applications. See


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