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Karolyn Mueller Hansen

Associate Professor; Chair of the Department of Biology

Full-Time Faculty

School of Engineering: Bioengineering Graduate Program; College of Arts and Sciences: Biology


Email: Karolyn Hansen
Phone: 937-229-2521
SC 211D


  • Ph.D., University of Delaware, 1990
  • M.S., Drexel University, 1984
  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1980

Research interests

Biosensor Development

Biosensor development research is the nexus of engineering and biology.  The true art in Biosensors research lies in designing sensors to detect biological parameters that can vary depending upon the complexity of the living system, the genetic composition of an organism, and the external factors that influence the presence or absence of the analyte(s) of interest.  Our laboratory research is focused on the integration of biomolecular recognition phenomena with sensor hardware development for detection of analytes in aqueous (water, blood) and vapor (breath) samples.  Areas of application include environmental monitoring, medical diagnoses, and safety and security.

Biomaterials Research

My primary training in the area of Marine Biology and Biochemistry, particularly the physiology of the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica.  Our on-going collaboration with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) is focused on the process by which a molluscan natural material, oyster shell, is produced. The shell formation process is a promising model for development of bio-inspired composites for a wide variety of applications in fields as varied as adaptive surface coatings, corrosion inhibition, and hybrid composite materials.

Images from research areas

Microcantilever sensor platform Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) on the half shell 3-day-old calcite crystal produced by oyster (Crassostrea virginica) hemocytes