Philip Miller

Senior Member of the Technical Staff


Miller is interested studying biological systems via creation of devices/sensor systems capable of providing new insight into these hard to decipher physiological processes. Some of my recent work includes, development of microneedle sensors for monitoring stress in plants and ingestible capsules for sample collection in the GI tract.


Bachelor’s Degree: Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina State University (2004-2008)

Doctoral Degree: Biomedical Engineering, Joint Department between University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University (2009-2015)

Postdoctoral Fellowships: Sandia National Laboratories (2015-2017)

Miller’s graduate research focused on creation of microneedle-based electrochemical sensing systems for wearable diagnostics applications. Multiplexed systems were developed for mapping biochemical profiles in skin or for characterizing complex microenvironments. In addition to sensor development, novel methods for hollow metal microneedle fabrication were investigated and produced arrays of microneedles on a flexible substrate.

Research Interests

Minimally Invasive Plant Sensors

Microneedle sensors for monitoring biotic and abiotic stresses in plants via impedance, turgor, and metabolite sensing systems are under development. Initial results show that the insertion and continual use of the microneedles in plants are well tolerated and do not initiate a toxic response. These devices can be placed into delicate tissue (e.g. leaves), but are strong enough to puncture and record signal from harder tissue (e.g. crown roots). Tissue specific impedance sensors can probe different leaf anatomy for monitoring hydration status and transport, and metabolite sensors are under development for tracking sugar transport.

Ingestible Sample Collector

No minimally invasive mechanisms exist for studying the GI tract. Miller is developing a swallowable capsule that can autonomously open and close a hermetically sealable valve to collect a biological sample in the upper GI tract. Various diseases are associated with the brain gut axis and fluctuating microbial communities may exhibit varying biochemical profiles that could be used as a diagnostic source. A capsule that can actuate a valve based on a specific organ system, collect the sample, and protect the sample from contamination is under development.

Selected Publications

A complete list of articles can be found on Google Scholar.

Miller, Philip R., et al. "Microneedle-Based Sensors for Medical Diagnostics."J Mat Chem B, 2016, 4, 1379-1383.

BQ Tran, Miller, Philip R., et al. "Proteomic Characterization of Dermal Interstitial Fluid Extracted Using a Novel Microneedle-Assisted Technique"J Proteome Research, 2018, 17(1), 479-485.

Miller, Philip R., et al. "Integrated carbon fiber electrodes within hollow polymer microneedles for transdermal electrochemical sensing." Biomicrofluidics 5.1 (2011): 013415.

Miller, Philip R., et al. "Multiplexed microneedle-based biosensor array for characterization of metabolic acidosis." Talanta 88 (2012): 739-742.

Miller, Philip R., et al. "Microneedle‐Based Transdermal Sensor for On‐Chip Potentiometric Determination of K+" Advanced healthcare materials (2013). Cover Picture.

Miller, Philip R., et al. "Electrodeposited Iron as a Biocompatible Material for Microneedle Fabrication." Electroanalysis 27.9 (2015): 2239-2249.

Awards, Honors, and Memberships

  • Mentor Research Award (2015)
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (2016)
  • Tau Beta Pi (2009)