Kaja Kaastrup

Kaja Kaastrup, Graduate studentAlumni
MSCEP ’13, PhD ’15, MIT
BS, Chemical Engineering
University of California-Berkeley

My thesis work is focused on the development of photopolymerization-based signal amplification as a platform technology for cell encapsulation applications. We leverage the amplification inherent to radical polymerization to enhance signal associated with specific molecular recognition events. As part of my doctoral work, I perform interfacial photopolymerization reactions, design immunoassays, synthesize bioconjugates, and use spectroscopic tools to study photoinitiation kinetics and quenching interactions.


Kaja Kaastrup and Hadley D. Sikes. “Using photo-initiated polymerization reactions to detect molecular recognition,” Chemical Society Reviews, 2016, 45: 532-545. DOI: 10.1039/C5CS00205B.

Kaja Kaastrup, Alan Aguirre-Soto, Chen Wang, Christopher N. Bowman, Jeffery W. Stansbury and Hadley D. Sikes “UV-Vis/FT-NIR in-situ monitoring of visible-light induced polymerization of PEGDA hydrogels initiated by eosin/triethanolamine/O2,” Polymer Chemistry, 2016, 7: 592-602. DOI:10.1039/C5PY01528F.

Kaja Kaastrup and Hadley D. Sikes. “Investigation of dendrimers functionalized with eosin as macrophotoinitiators for polymerization-based signal amplification reactions,” RSC Advances, 2015, 5 (20): 15652-15659. DOI:10.1039/C4RA14466J.

Abraham K. Badu-Tawiah,* Shefali Lathwal,* Kaja Kaastrup, Mohammad Al-Sayah, Dionysios C. Christodouleas, Barbara S. Smith, George M. Whitesides,* and Hadley D. Sikes.* “Polymerization-based signal amplification for paper-based immunoassays,” Lab on a Chip, 2015, 15 (3):  655-659. DOI:10.1039/C4LC01239A.

Amy Reece, Kaja Kaastrup, Hadley D. Sikes and John Oakey. “Staged Inertial Microfluidic Focusing for Complex Fluid Enrichment,” RSC Advances, 2015, 5 (66): 53857-53864. DOI:10.1039/C5RA10634F.

B.W. Heimer, T.A. Shatova, J.K. Lee, K. Kaastrup and H.D. Sikes. “Evaluating the Sensitivity of Hybridization-Based Epigenotyping using a Methyl Binding Domain Protein,” Analyst, 2014, 139 (15): 3695-3701. DOI:10.1039/C4AN00667D. (Cover Story)

Kaastrup, L. Chan, H.D. Sikes. “Impact of dissociation constant on detection sensitivity of polymerization-based signal amplification reactions,Analytical Chemistry, 2013, 85 (17): 8055–8060. DOI:10.1021/ac4018988.

Kaastrup and H.D. Sikes. “Polymerization-based signal amplification under ambient conditions with thirty-five second reaction times,Lab on a Chip, 2012, 12 (20): 4055-4058. DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40584A. (Most Downloaded in 2015 Collection)


Current Affiliation
Postdoc, Massachusetts General Hospital