My aim is to design electronic devices that have a seamless interface with human body. Our path to reach this goal involves special materials that can make electronics talk to living systems.
Sahika Inal Assistant Professor, BESE

Location

Courses

Education Profile

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Bioelectronics, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Saint Etienne, France, 2016
  • Ph.D. Experimental Physics, University of Potsdam (UP), Germany, 2013
  • M.Sc. Polymer Science, TU, HU, FU Berlin, UP, Germany, 2009
  • B.Sc. Textile Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, 2007

Sahika Inal is an Assistant Professor of Bioscience with affiliations in Electrical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). She leads the Organic Bioelectronics group at KAUST.

Education and early career 

Prior to joining KAUST, Sahika was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Bioelectronics at the Center of Microelectronics of Provence of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne (Gardanne, France). She received her B.Sc. degree in Textile Engineering from Istanbul Technical University (2007, Istanbul, Turkey), her M.Sc. in Polymer Science from a joint program of TU, HU, FU and University of Potsdam (2009, Berlin, Germany) and Ph.D. in Experimental Physics from the University of Potsdam (2013, Potsdam, Germany). Her M.Sc. work dealt with the optical processes in organic solar cells comprising small molecule acceptors. During her doctoral studies, she developed phase transition polymer/conjugated polyelectrolyte based optical sensors for autonomous detection of pathogens. 

Area of expertise and current scientific interests

Sahika’s expertise is in polymer science and bioelectronic devices. She specializes in photophysics of conjugated polymers, characterization of polymer thin films, behavior of polymer films in aqueous environment, and the design of biosensors and actuators comprising conjugated polymers. She currently investigates ion/electron conduction in organic electronic materials and designs bioelectronic devices that can record/stimulate biological signals.  Combining in-situ techniques to monitor ion and electron motion in films, fibers, and porous scaffolds of organic materials, her team aims to find the best performing materials, formulations, processing conditions and form factors for applications in electrolytes. These optimized materials are then applied to build specific devices (transistors, fuel cells, electrodes, electrochemical actuators or drug delivery devices) that can sense or stimulate biological signals.

Career recognitions

Sahika has currently 42 peer-reviewed papers (including publications in Nature, ACS and Wiley family journals), 3 patents filed. She has given over 25 invited and keynote presentations at international conferences and at universities in various countries. Her h-index is 18, and i10-index is 28  >1725 citations 

Editorial activities

Editorial Board Member of iScience, Cell Press
Editorial Board Member of Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Royal Society Publishing      

Why Bioelectronics?

My research is in the field of organic bioelectronics. Bioelectronics deals with the coupling between the worlds of electronics and biology, in order to develop devices for detection and treatment of diseases. I cannot think about a better cause to focus on. I want to make devices that have the potential to solve the health problems of the people.

Why KAUST?

As a polymer scientist and engineer, I work in close coloration with chemists who design innovative materials and with biologists who actually come up with problems that excite all of us. I like dealing with problems that are vital for human health and that concerns a wide audience. I have been up to date with the relevant research at KAUST and have been aware of the world-class KAUST scientists. I was convinced that the facilities, collaborators and the research environment at KAUST provide most of the necessary ingredients for a young scientist like myself to grow. KAUST has therefore been a natural next step in my career.