Thu May 28th 2015
16:00 – 17:00
HR Z203
Seminar Microfluidic Bioprocessors: towards “Chip-scale Medicine"
Abraham Lee


The basic life components (genes, protein, cells) function at critical length scales and the aggregate of these multi-scale reactions enable precise and complex living operations such as the immune response, regulation and adaptation, repair and maintenance, and hierarchical self-assembly. The rapid advancement of microfluidic technology is suitable for processing at the same length scales as their biological counterparts and enable large-scale and high throughput processing of molecular and cellular operations. An ultimate vision would be to analyze, manipulate, and recapitulate complex physiological processes in chip-scale, microfluidic platforms. These platforms would enable rapid and accurate diagnosis of onset of diseases, monitoring of chronic and high-risk patients, and even relatively healthy people the option to make healthy daily choices (e.g. exercise, stress, etc.). The vast amount of information acquired would match treatments with genomic makeup, and enable personalized medicine, point-of-care diagnostics, and targeted theranostics in wearable, distributable, and field portable platforms.

One particular platform, droplet microfluidics can break up the fluid sample into millions of picoliter-sized drops at 1000s/second rates. As a result, a complex fluid can be “digitized” into large numbers of discretized volumes, while enabling accurate mixtures, rapid mixing, and confined constituents for high sensitivity and high SNR detection. Another focus of my lab is in development of microfluidic platforms for sorting and processing of cells and cell-like lipid vesicles. This is motivated by the fact that cells host the most basic molecular functions of life and also form the basic unit of living creatures, the ability to detect, manipulate and sort at the cellular-scale is critical to all aspects of life science and medicine. Cell-like lipid vesicles can mimic specific functions of the biological counterpart in vivo and provide an effective platform for integrating detection and targeted treatment. A more complex microfluidic platform being developed in my lab is a microphyisological system with perfused 3-D vascularized tissue. The immediate application of this platform would be in drug development and drug screening with long-term prospects for larger tissues for regenerative medicine. I will also introduce a couple microfluidic technologies developed in my lab that enables label-free cell sorting based on dielectric properties (e.g. dielectrophoresis) or mechanical properties (e.g. acoustic streaming and trapping).
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The 10th Complex Motion in Fluids 2021
Max Planck Gesellschaft
Centre for Scientific Computing