Mirela Alistar


Mirela (assistant professor, ATLAS Institute, Computer Science) investigates the extent to which we can change healthcare to make it a personal process. Her research focuses around microfluidic biochips, devices that enable direct interaction of humans with their microbiome for diagnosis purposes. So far Mirela has built systems based on biochips to serve as personal laboratories: small portable devices that people can own and use to develop customized bio-protocols ("bio-apps"). 

Mirela is an active contributor to the DIYBio movement, having led and co-founded community wetlabs. In this context, she organizes interactive performances, art installations and open workshops, in order to engage the public in direct interaction with living materials (e.g., bacteria, viruses, fungi).

Mirela received her PhD from the Technical University of Denmark in 2014, and until 2018, she was a postdoc in Patrick Baudish's lab at Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany. Mirela’s work is published in top-tier journals and conferences (IEEE TCAD) and has been demonstrated at venues such as IEEE ESWeek and Molecular Communications. Mirela has served as a guest editor for Current Biotechnology journal (CBNT) and as a reviewer for venues such as Applied Materials and Interfaces, DATE, TCAD, ToDAES, NanoCom and UIST. 


Mirela Alistar and Margherita Pevere. 2020. Semina Aeternitatis: Using Bacteria for Tangible Interaction with Data. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–13. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3334480.3381817 (Honolulu, Hawaii (virtual)–April 25-30, 2020).

Mirela Alistar, 2019. Mobile microfluidics. Bioengineering Journal.

Mirela Alistar, Urs Gaudenz. 2017. OpenDrop: An Integrated Do-It-Yourself Platform for Personal Use of Biochips. Bioengineering Journal.

Mirela Alistar, Paul Pop, Jan Madsen. 2016. Synthesis of application-specific fault-tolerant digital microfluidic biochip architectures. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (TCAD), 764-777.

Alexandra Ion, Johannes Frohnhofen, Mirela Alistar, Ludwig Wall, Jack Lindsay, Pedro Lopes, Hsiang-Ting Chen, Patrick Baudisch. 2016. Metamaterial Mechanisms. Proc. ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST’16), 529-539. Honorable Mention Award.

Paul Pop, Mirela Alistar, Elena Stuart, Jan Madsen. Fault-tolerant digital microfluidic biochips. Springer 2016.

Additional Publications