VPD Group

Shraddha Avasthy


Materials Science and Engineering
Northwestern University
Room: B560, Silverman Hall
Chemistry of Life Processes Institute,
2170 Campus Drive
Evanston IL, 60208-3113

Phone: (847) 491-5809
Facsimile: (847) 491-7280

Email: shraddhaavasthy2013@u.northwestern.edu 


Northwestern University, Evanston, IL                                                                                                         December 2013

  • Ph.D. candidate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Dissertation title: Mechanical characterization of sub-surface features in soft  and hard materials

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL                                                                                                      August 2006 

  • Masters of Science (Thesis), Department of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Dissertation title:  Soft Three Dimensional Microfluidic and Integrated Optical Systems for Sensing

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India                                                                                                        May 2002

  • Bachelor of Technology in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering (Gold Medal)
  • Project title:  Optimization of operation parameters for separation of materials with different size distributions and its visualization using OpenGL programming


Northwestern University, Evanston, IL                                                                                                     Sept 2008-present

Graduate research assistant, Advisor:  Prof. Vinayak P. Dravid

  • Tested therapy of Acute Lung Injury diseases such as pneumonia and diagnosis of colon cancer by measuring mechanical properties of biological cells at the nano-scale.
  • Detected sub-surface defects using ultrasonic mechanical property testing at the nano-scale.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL                                                                                     January 2004-June 2006

Graduate research assistant, Advisor:  Prof. John A. Rogers

  • Fabricated an all-polymer optical sensing device for a lab-on-a-chip system.

Hindalco, Aditya Birla Company, India                                                                                                  May 2001-July 2001

Summer Research Internship, Advisor: Arindam Sarkar

  • Recommended changes to production process to improve its efficiency and cut costs.


Study of mechanical properties of biological systems and soft materials with Scanning Probe Microscopy:

  • Dynamic scanning probe microscopy to study the effect of thrombin (a hemostyptic agent) and sphingosine 1-phosphate (a therapeutic agent) on mechanical properties of Human Pulmonary Endothelial Artery cells.

  • Scanning probe microscopy study of mechanical properties of HT 29 colon cancer cells and their RNA inhibited knocked down version for non-invasive diagnosis of disease progression. Confocal fluorescence, optical and electron microscopy being used for validation and further analysis.

  • Study the effect of roughness on optical signal contrast obtained through Pulsed Wave Spectroscopy on cheek cells from humans.  Roughness study is being conducted to see if surface topography variation between healthy and diseased cells can have any contribution to the changing optical signal.   


Analysis of the role of cortactin in actin cytoskeleton rearrangement of live human pulmonary artery endothelial cells through atomic force spectroscopy. S. Avasthy (in preparation)

Surface mapping of sub-surface defect in Si(100) at sample longitudinal thickness mode resonance.  S. Avasthy (in preparation)

Improving accuracy of nanoscale mechanical measurements with AFM-based Contact Resonance Force Microscopy using Silicon as model material. S. Avasthy, J.H. Kim, G.S. Shekhawat, S.P. Shah and V.P. Dravid (to be submitted)

Sub-cellular Dynamic Mechanical Response Measurements of Live Human Pulmonary Artery Endothelial Cells with Atomic Force Microscopy. S. Avasthy, Y. Ishikawaa, G.S. Shekhawat, V.P. Dravid, G. Mustata, M.E. Brown, J.G. Garcia and S. Dudek.. Microscopy and Microanalysis , 18(S2), July 2012 , pp 1622-1623.

Gajendra Shekhawat, Shraddha Avasthy, Arvind Srivastava, , and Vinayak P. Dravid, “Probing Buried Defects in Extreme Ultraviolet Multilayer Blanks Using Ultrasound Holography”, G.S. Shekhawat, S. Avasthy, A. Srivastava, S. Tark and V.P. Dravid. IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, 9(6), Nov. 2010.

Ultrasound Holography for Non-Invasive Probing of Buried Defects and Interfaces for Advanced Interconnect Architectures. G.S. Shekhawat, A. Srivastava, S. Avasthy and V.P. Dravid, Applied Physics Letters, 95(26), 263101, Dec 2009.

Soft Lithography for Microfluidic Microelectromechanical Systems and Optical Devices. S.M. Mitrowski, S. Avasthy, E.M. Erickson, M.E. Stewart, J.A. Rogers and R.G. Nuzzo, Unconventional Nanopatterning Techniques and Applications (ISBN: 978-0-470-09957-5; Chapter 12), Wiley Publications, 2008. (Book Chapter)

Scanning Near Field Ultrasound Holograhy. S. Avasthy, G.S. Shekhawat and V.P. Dravid. Acoustic Scanning Probe Microscopy, Series Title 3705, (ISBN: 9783642274947, Chapter 10), Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2012. (Book Chapter)

Scanning Near Field Ultrasound Holograhy. S. Avasthy, G. S. Shekhawat and V. P. Dravid. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, (ISBN: 9780470027318, Surfaces) Wiley Publications, 2010. (Book Chapter)

Seeing the Invisible: Noninvasive Subsurface Nanoscale Imaging with Scanning Near-Field Ultrasound Holography. S. Avasthy, A. Srivastava, G. S. Shekhawat and V. P. Dravid. FutureFab Intl., Issue 30, July 2009. (Article)


Microscopy & Microanalysis Conference: Physical Science Symposium                                                 Phoenix, AZ, July 2012

Award talk:  “Sub-cellular Dynamic Mechanical Response Measurements of Live Human Pulmonary Artery Endothelial Cells with Atomic Force Microscopy.”  S. Avasthy, Y. Ishikawa, G. Shekhawat, V.P. Dravid, G. Mustata, M.E. Brown, J.G. Garcia and S. Dudek.

14th International Scanning Probe Microscopy Conference                                                              Toronto, Canada, June 2012

Oral presentation: “Dynamic AFM mechanical property measurements of live single cells under changing physiological conditions.” S. Avasthy, M.E. Brown, Y. Ishikawa, G.S. Shekhawat, J.G. Garcia, S.M. Dudek, and V. P. Dravid

NSF CMMI Grantee Conference: Biomechanics and Mechanobiology                                                      Boston, MA, July 2012

Poster presentation: “Implementation of Fluidic-Scanning Near Field Ultrasound Holography with Integrated Electronic Detection for Nano-Bio-Mechanics.”  S. Avasthy, Y. Ishikawa, G.S. Shekhawat, and V.P. Dravid.

Catalyzing Collaboration Conference with Focus on Tumor Immunology: Emerging

Discovery, Translational & Diagnostics Approaches                                                                         Abbott Park, IL, Dec. 2011

Poster presentation:  “Seeing and Sensing the Invisible: Emerging Nanostructures and Devices for Biodevices.” S. Avasthy, M. De, G.S. Shekhawat, S.S. Chou, G.M. Mustata and V.P. Dravid.

CMOS Emerging Technologies Conference                                                                                  Whistler, Canada, May 2010

Oral presentation:  “Nanoscale Sub-surface Metrology using Ultrasound Holography for imaging buried defects in Advanced Interconnects and Semiconductor Devices.”  S. Avasthy, G.S. Shekhawat and V.P. Dravid.


Distinguished Scholar Award, Microanalysis Society of America                                                                             2012
The Northwestern Graduate School Terminal Year Fellowship                                                                                 2012
The Northwestern Graduate School Conference Travel Grant                                                                                   2012
Gold Medal for Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Kanpur                                                                           2002   
Certificate for Academic Excellence, IIT Kanpur                                                                                                       2001