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Azahar Ali

Assistant Professor, Biosensor Engineering
Professional photo of Dr. Azahar Ali. 2022.
Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences
103 Food Science Bldg.
360 Duck Pond Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Postdoc, Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA (2019-2022)

Postdoc, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA (2014-2019)

PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, 2014


2019, Postdoctoral Scholar Research Excellence Award, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

2017, Outstanding Paper Award Finalist, The 19th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

2015, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (not joined), Japan

2015, DST Fast Track Young Scientist Award (not joined), India.

2014, Dr. D. S. Kothari Postdoctoral Fellowship, (not joined), UGC, India

2014, Excellence in Research Award, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad

Teaching interest is in (a) Biosensor and bioMEMS, (b) Ag sensors and precision agriculture

Ali lab is interested in bringing innovative solutions in the area of livestock farming and sustainable agriculture by introducing next-generation biomedical devices. Combining with wearable platforms, biosensors are gaining much attention for on-site livestock health, agricultural and food-safety monitoring. The main focus of his research group is to create advanced biosensor devices with novel functionalities for sensing of biomarkers and agriculture parameters to address the unmet need of precision and sustainable agriculture. Such devices can directly help farmers or planters. Specifically, the main application of these devices is to know livestock animal physiology and several diseases by identifying pathogens and biomarkers, stress, temperature, sweat constituents, pH, and behavior.

Other directions of his research group are to develop implantable or deployable MEMS sensors for soil and plants health, and food safety.  To achieve this, his lab focuses on advanced micro/nanofabrication of nanomaterials or 3D printing with two- and three-dimensional sensor geometries, microfluidic devices, novel surface chemistries, flexible electronics, hardware circuits, wearable technology, and machine learning. Such implementation can bridge the gap between on-site testing with real-time data acquisition and analysis, and achieve improved detection, prediction, and treatment of livestock diseases and sustainable agriculture.

Following are the research activities that are conducted in the lab:   

  1. 3D Biosensors, lab-on-chips, implantable, and MEMS sensors
  2.  Animal biosensing for smart livestock farming
  3.  Implantable and deployable sensors for sustainable agriculture
  4. In vitro and In vivo diagnostics tools for pathogens/biomarkers detection
  5. Flexible electronics, wireless sensors and machine Learning
  6. Advanced micro/nanofabrication and 3D printing to create new class of biosensors with novel functionalities

Selected Publications

1.   Md. Azahar Ali, C. Hu, B. Yuan, S. Jahan, M. S. Saleh, Z. Guo, A. J. Gellman, R. Panat, “Breaking the barrier to biomolecule limit-of-detection via 3D printed multi-length-scale graphene-coated electrodes”, Nature Communications, 12(1),7077-1 to 7077-16.

       [, CMU News]

2.   Md. Azahar Ali, C. Hu, E. A. Yttri, and R. Panat, “Recent Advances in 3D Printing of Biomedical Sensing Devices”, Advanced Functional Materials, 2107671, 2021.

3.   Md. Azahar Ali, C. Hu, S. Jahan, B. Yuan, M. S. Saleh, E. Ju, S.-J. Gao, R. Panat, Sensing of COVID‐19 antibodies in seconds via aerosol jet nanoprinted reduced‐graphene‐oxide‐coated 3D electrodes, Advanced Materials, 2021, 33, 2006647 (Selected for front Cover Page)

News- Materials Today, Advanced Science News,, Nanowerk, CMU Engineering]

4.   Md. Azahar Ali, C. Hu, F. Zhang, S. Jahan, B. Yuan, M. S. Saleh, S.-J. Gao, R. Panat, “N protein-based ultrasensitive SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection in seconds via 3D nanoprinted, microarchitected array electrodes”, Journal of Medical Virology, In press, 2022, doi: 10.1002/jmv.27591.

5.   P. A. Borade, Md. Azahar Ali, S. Jahan, T. Sant, K. Bogle, R. Panat, S. M. Jejurikar, MoS2 Nanosheet-Modified NiO Layers on a Conducting Carbon Paper for Glucose Sensing, ACS Appl. Nano Mater., 2021, 4, 7, 6609–6619.

6.   Y. Zhu, Y. Chen, Md. Azahar Ali, L. Dong, X. Wang, S. V. Archontoulis, J. C. Schnable, M. J. Castellano, "Continuous in situ soil nitrate sensors: the importance of high-resolution measurements across time and a comparison with salt extraction-based methods," Soil Science Society of America Journal, 2021, 85:677–690.

7.   N. Singh, Md. Azahar Ali, P. Rai, I. Ghori, A. Sharma, B. D Malhotra, R. John, Dual-modality microfluidic biosensor based on nanoengineered mesoporous graphene hydrogels, Lab on a Chip, 2020, 20, 760-777.

8.   Md. Azahar Ali, L. Dong, J. Dhau, A. Khosla, A. Kaushik, Perspective—electrochemical sensors for soil quality assessment, J. Electrochem. Soc, 2020, 167, 037550.

9.   Md. Azahar Ali, X. Wang, Y. Chen, Y. Jiao, M. Satyanarayana, M. J. Castellano, J. C. Schnable, P. S. Schnable, and L. Dong, Continuous monitoring of soil nitrate variation using miniature sensor with poly(3-octyl-thiophene) and molybdenum disulfide nanocomposite, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2019, 11, 29195-29206.

10.  Md. Azahar Ali, S. Tabassum, Y. Wang, Q. Wang, R. Kumar, and L. Dong, Integrated dual-modality microfluidic sensor for biomarker detection, Lab on a Chip, 2018, 18, 803-817.

11.  Md. Azahar Ali, K. Mondal, Y. Wang, N. Mahal, M. J. Castellano, A. Sharma, and L. Dong, In situ integration of graphene foam–titanium nitride based bio-scaffolds and microfluidic structures for soil nutrient sensors, Lab on a Chip, 2017, 17, 274-285 (Selected for front Cover Page).


Book and Chapters

1.    A. Gosai and Md. Azahar Ali* “Metal oxides based microfluidic biosensing (Chapter, pages: 233-258); Metal Oxides for Biomedical and Biosensor Applications,” 1st Edition, Elsevier, 2021, ISBN: 9780128230589.

2.    Md. Azahar Ali and Bansi D. Malhotra, “Nanomaterials for Biosensors: Fundamentals and Applications, (Micro and Nano Technologies) 1st Edition, Elsevier, 2017, Hardcover ISBN: 9780323449236, eBook ISBN: 9780128135150.

3.    Md. Azahar Ali and Chandan Singh, “Enzymatic Biosensors (Chapter); Nanobiotechnology for Sensing Applications: From Lab to Field” pp: 161-182, CRC Press, a Tylor and Francis Group, 2016, New Jersey, USA, ISBN: 9781771883283, E-Book ISBN: 9781771883290.


  • Md. Azahar Ali, S. Tabassum, Q. Wang, R. Kumar, L. Dong, Integrated dual-modality microfluidic sensor for biomarker detection, 2021, US Patent US11022610B1.
  •  Md. Azahar Ali, L. Dong, X. Wang, M. Castellano, Miniature sensors with probe insertable into and for obtaining measurements from plants and a variety of other mediums, US Patent 10,921,303
  • Md. Azahar Ali, A. Sharma, K. Mondal, B. D Malhotra, C. Singh, G. Sumana, Silver nanoparticles impregnated nanoporous carbon nanofibers platform for biosensor application, 2016, Indian Patent Office, Filling application date: 04/08/2016, Application No: 201611026698, Published on 09-02-2018, Official Journal No. 06/2018.