The University of Southampton

Nikita Karra 

Biomedical Electronics Engineering PhD Student


I am currently a final year PhD student within the Biomedical Electronics Engineering group working on the in vitro ‘Lung on Chip’ platform, which hopes to alleviate issues with current models used for respiratory diseases and aims to replace animal testing in the future.

I completed my undergraduate degree at Aston university in Biomedical Science (2017) with over a year in research laboratories. The research at the time involved an investigation into microorganism interactions between each other and with patients suffering with the respiratory condition cystic fibrosis. In addition to research into inflammation and apoptotic cell signalling important for diseases such as Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Following the completion of my degree I wanted to combine my interest in immunology and biology with engineering.

This PhD is highly interdisciplinary working in a group of engineers and biologists. This project has allowed me to combine my previous research experience with new engineering skills, expanding my horizons to try to tackle the issue of respiratory drug development and animal testing.


Research interests

Research interests include vitro cell culture, drug research and development. In addition to surface acoustic waves, design and fabrication of microfluidic system, designing of photolithographic masks and working in the nanofabrication and integrated photonics cleanrooms, research into bonding of different materials.


Demonstrating in undergraduate practicals for the biomedical electronics degree.

Mentor for the biomedical electronics summer school.

Lead demonstrator in outreach activity day for A level and GCSE students for the biomedical electronics degree.


Karra, Nikita, Swindle, Emily and Morgan, Hywel (2020) Drug delivery for traditional and emerging airway models. Organs-on-a-Chip, 1-19, [100002]. (doi:10.1016/j.ooc.2020.100002).

Fernandes, Joao, Cabaco and Karra, Nikita (2022) Data to support the article Real-time monitoring of epithelial barrier function by impedance spectroscopy in a microfluidic platform. University of Southampton [Dataset]

Karra, Nikita (2022) Data associated with Chapter 3, 4 and 5 of the thesis ‘ Development of an integrated aerosol drug delivery device for an in vitro airway barrier on a chip platform’. University of Southampton [Dataset]

Fernandes, Joao, Cabaco, Karra, Nikita, Bowring, Joel, Reale, Riccardo, James, Jonathan, Pell, Theresa, Blume, Cornelia, Rowan, Wendy, Davies, Donna, Swindle, Emily and Morgan, Hywel (2022) Real-time monitoring of epithelial barrier function by impedance spectroscopy in a microfluidic platform. Lab on a Chip. (doi:10.1039/D1LC01046H).


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