Robert Filkins

Robert Filkins

Adjunct Professor
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering

PhD Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2003

Robert Filkins

Dr. Filkins is a senior principal engineer at General Electric. His technical expertise includes the areas of visualization systems, low-noise electronics design, optical-microfluidic labelling and imaging systems, IHC and ISH biomarker detection systems, lasers and electro-optics, ultrasound, RF-analog & high-speed digital circuit design. To date he has 55 granted US patents, numerous patent applications and 50+ publications.


Key Patents and Publications

  1. Energy modulated luminescence tomography, US10,603,001 (2020). In accordance with this method, an external energy source is used to activate a plurality of functionalized nanoparticles within a region of interest. The activated nanoparticles emit photons at a background rate when not further stimulated by an underlying tissue and at one or both of a different rate or energy when further stimulated by action potentials or field potentials associated with the underlying tissue. The photons emitted by the plurality of functionalized nanoparticles are detected. One or more of a multi-dimensional image, a time-domain activity representation, or a representation of temporal relationship between the detected photons and biological features is generated based upon the photons emitted at the different rate or energy (spectrum).
  2. Sequential Analysis of biological samples. US9,518,982, US8,822,147; US7,741,045; US7,629,125.  A revolutionary technique for examining a very large number of proteins or biomarkers in a single tissue section by serially labeling, imaging and destroying the fluorophores; contributed the concept of serial, or time-multiplexing via dye signal destruction. Became a new business for GE Healthcare called MultiOmyx, Now called CellDive by Cytiva Biosciences.
  3. Gerdes, M.J., Sevinsky, C.J., Sood, A., Adak, S., Bello, M.O., Bordwell, A., Can, A., Corwin, A., Dinn, S., Filkins, R.J. and Hollman, D., 2013. Highly multiplexed single-cell analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cancer tissue. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(29), pp.11982-11987.
  4. Predictive autofocusing & Microscope with dual image sensors for rapid autofocusing. US 8,179,432; US7,576,307.  Device and architecture for scanning whole tissue sections on glass slides at a speed an order of magnitude faster than previously achieved, implementing a look-ahead focusing concept using two sensors of different spatial and temporal bandwidth. A design which served as the product basis for a new business for GE Healthcare: Omnyx. Now Inspirata. 
  5. Systems and methods for processing and imaging biological samples.  US 9,164,015  (2015). A high throughput approach for multiple IHC or ISH testing of large numbers of samples.
  6. Microfluidic device chamber and fabrication, US 8,900,529 (2014). A design and fabrication technique for a consumable flow cell device that enables chemical processing, high resolution imaging and sample archiving.
  7. X-ray micro-modulated luminescence tomography in dual-cone geometry. Cong, Wenxiang, Z. Pan, R. Filkins, A. Srivastava, N. Ishaque, P. Stefanov, and G. Wang. Journal of biomedical optics 19, no. 7 (2014): 076002-076002. PMID: 24990086.  This is a publication describing a completely new imaging modality that can achieve microscopic (<10 micron) resolution in-vivo, to which I contributed the approach for x-ray focusing and optical detection.
  8. A novel, automated technology for multiplex biomarker imaging and application to breast cancer. G.M Clarke, J.T. Zubovits, K.A. Shaikh, D. Wang, S.R. Dinn, A.D. Corwin, A. Santamaria‐Pang, Q. Pang, S. Nofech-Mozes, K. Liu, Z. Pang R. Filkins, M. Yaffe.  Histopathology 64, no. 2 (2014): 242-255. PMID: 24330149 Describes the first use of a hands-free device for biomarker multiplexing in a clinical research laboratory environment. Served as the GRC principal investigator and developed project concept.
  9. Simple and robust image-based autofocusing for digital microscopy. S. Yazdanfar, K.B. Kenny, K. Tasimi, A. Corwin, E. Dixon, R. Filkins (2008), Optics Express, Volume 16, Issue 12. PMID: 18545580 Describes a unique algorithm for rapidly determine sharpness of focus in brightfield or fluorescent microscopy images. Enables high speed scanning with excellent image fidelity.
  10. Closed loop monitoring of automated molecular pathology system. US 8,673,643. Novel microscopy and fluidics instrument to precisely control immunohistochemistry through image-based monitoring. 
  11. Methods and apparatus for optical segmentation of biological samples. US 8,532,398. Unique microscopy system for dynamically adjusting illumination patterns using image priors to excite specific regions of interests or specific cellular/tissue regions within biological samples, to reduce bleaching, maximize dynamic range and sensitivity, eliminate background, and precisely control photochemistry. 
  12. Photoreceiver assembly for high-powered lasers. US 6,649,900. A novel, low-power, ultra-low noise design for a high-bandwidth photoreceiver that enables laser-based inspection system to detect tiny ultrasonic signals from large standoff distances, thereby making a practical airframe inspection possible; commercialized as component of LaserUT systems, currently sold through PAR Systems, Inc.