Ishika Khondaker

Mentor: Dr. Eric Mclamore
College of Engineering
"I began working with Dr. McLamore because I wanted to be able to apply the concepts I learned through schooling in a real world setting while contributing to the field. Pursuing research has given me a hands-on learning experience incomparable to anything I have learned in the classroom."


Chemical Engineering



Research Interests

  • Disease Diagnostics
  • Biologically-Inspired Design
  • Translational Nanomedicine

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program(2016)
  • University of Florida Presidential Platinum Scholarship
  • National Merit Scholar Finalist
  • Seminole County Medical Society Dr. Perez Scholar


  • Interfaith Ambassadors
  • Honors Ambassadors


  • SHANDS Child Life Volunteer
  • UF Chemistry Club Science Outreach Volunteer
  • English Learning Institute Conversation Partner

Hobbies and Interests

  • Playing guitar
  • Fishing
  • Reading
  • Table Tennis

Research Description

Development of a Graphene Foam Biosensor based on Insect-Derived Chemosensory Proteins for Rapid Diagnosis of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
The purpose of this project is to develop a biosensor in order to diagnose diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The key to treating DKA lies in early detection – patients treated during their first two days of hospitalization have the best chance at survival. Because of this, there is a great need for a biosensor to be used in the analysis of acetone in breath, the tell-tale sign of diabetic ketoacidosis. The biosensor we are developing uses chemosensory olfactory proteins from the tsetse fly which are noted for their affinity for volatiles, notably acetone. We are developing this biosensor on a permeable graphene foam platform that volatiles can penetrate. We plan to coat the graphene foam with platinum, attach proteins with histidine tags, and present the sensor to liquid acetone. At each step, we will take measurements and microscopic images of the biosensor to detect quantitative and visual changes between steps. Quantitative measurements will be taken using the cyclic voltammetry technique to measure electroactive surface area of the foam and electron impedance spectroscopy to measure the impedance of the foam. Development of this biosensor will be a breakthrough in the diagnosis of DKA and will greatly reduce fatalities due to diabetes and DKA.