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Biological and Soft Systems


Research Associate

Email: kc494(at)


Kaikai Chen is a Research Associate at the Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge. He received his PhD from Tsinghua University in 2017. He has a multidisciplinary background in physics, engineering, and biology. The main research areas are applied physics and biophysics, with a focus on single-molecule methods, biosensors, and biomaterials. He has published more than 20 papers in journals such as Nature Physics, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, ACS Nano, Nano Letters, Advanced Functional Materials, Biophysical Journal, etc. His research results have been highlighted by, Nanowerk, ScienMag,, etc. He is also a reviewer for journals including the Journal of the American Chemical Society, ACS Nano, and ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, and a guest editor of Materials.


Key publications: 

1. F. Boskovic, J. Zhu, R. Tivony, A. Ohmann, K. Chen, M. Alawami, M. Đorđević, N. Ermann, J. P. Dias, M. Fairhead, M. Howarth, S. Baker, U. F. Keyser. Simultaneous identification of viruses and viral variants with programmable DNA nanobait. Nature Nanotechnology, 2022 in press.

2. A.F. Mohammed, F. Bošković, J. Zhu, K. Chen, S.E. Sandler, U.F. Keyser. Lifetime of glass nanopores in a PDMS chip for single-molecule sensing. iScience 2022, 25, 104191.

3. K. Chen, I. Jou, N. Ermann, M. Muthukumar, U. F. Keyser, N. A. W. Bell. Dynamics of driven polymer transport through a nanopore. Nature Physics 2021, 17, 1043-1049.

4. J. Zhu, J., N. Ermann, K. Chen, U. F. Keyser. Image Encoding Using Multi-Level DNA Barcodes with Nanopore Readout. Small, 2021, 2100711.

5. F. Boskovic, A. Ohmann, U. F. Keyser, K. Chen. DNA structural barcode copying and random access. Small Structures 2021, 2000144

6. K. Chen, F. Gularek, B. Liu, E. Weinhold, U. F. Keyser. Electrical DNA sequence mapping using oligodeoxynucleotide labels and nanopores. ACS Nano 2021, 15, 2679-2685.

7. K. Chen, J. Zhu, F. Bošković, U. F. Keyser. Nanopore-Based DNA Hard Drives for Rewritable and Secure Data Storage. Nano Letters 2020, 20, 3754-3760.

8. N. E. Weckman, N. Ermann, R. Gutierrez, K. Chen, J. Graham, A. Heron, U. F. Keyser. In Pushing the resolution of dCas9 barcodes for multiplexed DNA identification with nanopore sensors, 2019 IEEE Sensors, IEEE: 2019, pp 1-3.

9. F. Boskovic, J. Zhu, K. Chen, U. F. Keyser. Monitoring G-Quadruplex Formation with DNA Carriers and Solid-State Nanopores. Nano Letters 2019, 19, 7996-8001.

10. N. E. Weckman, N. Ermann, R. Gutierrez, K. Chen, J. Graham, R. Tivony, A. Heron, U. F. Keyser Multiplexed DNA Identification Using Site Specific dCas9 Barcodes and Nanopore Sensing. ACS Sensors 2019, 4, 2065-2072.

11. K. Chen, J. Kong, J. Zhu, N. Ermann, P. Predki, U. F. Keyser. Digital Data Storage Using DNA Nanostructures and Solid-State Nanopores. Nano Letters 2019, 19, 1210-1215.

12. J. Kong, J. Zhu, K. Chen, U. F. Keyser. Specific Biosensing Using DNA Aptamers and Nanopores. Advanced Functional Materials 2018, 1807555.

13. N. Ermann, N. Hanikel, V. Wang, K. Chen, N. E. Weckman, U. F. Keyser. Promoting single-file DNA translocations through nanopores using electro-osmotic flow. The Journal of Chemical Physics 2018, 149, 163311.

14. M. Zhou,* K. Chen,* X. Li, L. Liu, Q. Zeng, Y. Mo, L. Jin, L. Li, G. Su, J. Che, Y. Tian. Clumping Stability of Vertical Nanofibers on Surfaces. Langmuir 2018, 34, 11629-11636.

15. N. A. W. Bell,# K. Chen,# S. Ghosal, M. Ricci, U. F. Keyser. Asymmetric dynamics of DNA entering and exiting a strongly confining nanopore. Nature Communications 2017, 8, 380.

16. K. Chen, M. Juhasz, F. Gularek, E. Weinhold, Y. Tian, U. F. Keyser, N. A. W. Bell. Ionic Current-Based Mapping of Short Sequence Motifs in Single DNA Molecules Using Solid-State Nanopores. Nano Letters 2017, 17, 5199-5205.

17. K. Chen, N. A. W. Bell, J. Kong, Y. Tian, U. F. Keyser. Direction- and Salt-Dependent Ionic Current Signatures for DNA Sensing with Asymmetric Nanopores. Biophysical Journal 2017, 112, 674-682.

Other publications: 

18. C. Xue, X. Zheng, K. Chen, Y. Tian, G. Hu. Probing Non-Gaussianity in Confined Diffusion of Nanoparticles. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2016, 7, 514-9.

19. L. Shan, K. Chen, M. Zhou, X. Zhang, Y. Meng, Y. Tian. Shear history effect of magnetorheological fluids. Smart Materials and Structures 2015, 24, 105030.

20. K. Chen, L. Shan, S. He, G. Hu, Y. Meng, Y. Tian. Biphasic Resistive Pulses and Ion Concentration Modulation during Particle Translocation through Cylindrical Nanopores. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2015, 119, 8329-8335.

21. K. Chen, W. L. Zhang, L. Shan, X. Zhang, Y. Meng, H. J. Choi, Y. Tian. Magnetorheology of suspensions based on graphene oxide coated or added carbonyl iron microspheres and sunflower oil. Journal of Applied Physics 2014, 116, 153508.

22. K. Chen, Y. Tian, L. Shan, X. Zhang, Y. Meng. Squeeze behaviors of magnetic powders between two parallel plates. Smart Materials and Structures 2014, 23, 117004.

23. Y. Tian, K. Chen, L. Shan, X. Zhang, Y. Meng. Unexpected shear strength change in magnetorheological fluids. APL Materials 2014, 2, 096102.

24. K. Chen, Y. Tian, L. Shan, X. Zhang, Y. Meng. The rheological properties of magnetic field excited magnetic powders sheared between two parallel plates. Smart Materials and Structures 2013, 22, 115036.

25. K. Chen, Y. Tian, L. Shan, J. Jiang. Transient response of sheared magnetic powder excited by a stepwise magnetic field and its comparison with ER and MR fluids. Smart Materials and Structures 2013, 22, 097001.

Research Associate
Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
Biological Physics