Prof. Sumita Pennathur
University of California, Santa Barbara; CEO Laxmi Therapeutic Devices Inc.


From in-vitro to implantable medical devices -- where technology can make a difference.


When it comes to diagnostic devices, what is better? An implantable device? A wearable device? Or a point-of-care device, that takes a sample from you and measures in-vitro? They all have pros and cons, but the underlying answer is innovations of technology available for that particular diagnostic. In this talk, I will present my work starting companies from in-vitro to implantable -- from breast pumps , to a device that measures fetal-maternal hemorrhaging, to point-of-care virus detection, and finally on my newest endeavor, engineering a painless, minimally invasive, small form-factor continuous wearable glucose monitor for my daughter who was recently diagnosed with Type I diabetes. We are developing this platform to sense multiple analytes in a real-time, continuous manner, thus changing the paradigm for on-body biosensing and continuous biomonitoring for medicine.


Dr. Pennathur is a full Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara, with degrees from Stanford (PhD) and MIT (MS, BS).Since arriving at UCSB, Pennathur has contributed significantly to the fields of nanofluidics and interfacial science. She has performed pioneering work in both theoretical and experimental characterization of fluid flow in MEMS and NEMS devices. These contributions have been disseminated in the form of over 60 archived journal publications, books or conference papers, 6 patent applications, and more than 80 invited presentations. Notable awards include the DARPA Young Faculty Award (2008), the UC Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship (2009), the PECASE (Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering) award (2010), the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce Innovator of the Quarter Award (2012), and the ADA Pathway to Stop Diabetes Visionary Award (2017). Her work has led her to found many companies - Asta Fluidics, Alveo Technologies and more recently Laxmi Therapeutic Devices where she is currently CEO.