Our group designs, creates and builds microfluidic devices to investigate clinical applications involving diagnosis of cancer and infectious diseases as well as protein structure, and basic questions regarding biological molecules.
DNA and RNA extraction from a variety of starting biological samples
DNA and RNA extraction from biological samples is essential for diagnostic applications. Microfluidics present a way to simplify and scale down this process, even to the Point-of-Care (POC). We are developing innovative approaches to this extraction from tissues, blood, and plasma samples.
Utilization of electrokinetics in microfluidic chips
We are working on strategies that combine electrokinetic phenomenon with microfluidic chips to aid in DNA purification, separation of of molecules in samples, and more. This has been an important tool for many forms of sample preparation for molecular-based diagnostics.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing Strategies
Non-invasive prenatal testing is an important tool for detection of fetal complications with a lower cost and risk compared to invasive procedures. We are interested in developing new testing strategies based on cell free DNA and trophoblast analysis.
Next-Generation Sequencing Sample Preparation
The used of a modified, hyperactive Tn5 transposase integrates the first several steps of next-generation sequencing library preparation: fragmentation, end repair, and adapter ligation. Our innovative microfluidic chip can be adapted to either transposase-based or traditional library preparation chemistry.
Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) isolation for non-invasive cancer detection
CTCs are cells found in the blood of patients affected with metastatic cancer, that have shed off primary tumors and have entered the circulation. Although found in extremely low counts, their detection can provide a non-invasive diagnostic option for cancer patients.
The Bio-Gripper is a novel technology designed for the application of tissue assembly. This fluid-actuated manipulator is able to grasp and lift millimeter-scale tissue constructs, transport them in a three-dimensional domain, and precisely place them at their target destination without deformation of the self-assembled tissue geometry.
Microfluidic Centrifugal Device (MCD)
Exploiting centrifugal forces on a liquid moving radially between two parallel plates, the path of single cells from a homogeneous cell suspension can be precisely monitored to direct the single cells towards compartmentalized traps. The device is also being adapted to capture CTC clusters from whole blood.
Novel microfluidic routes for disease detection and diagnostics
Our 3D printed microchip uses interfacial forces and magnetic beads to extract HIV viral RNA from patient samples without the need for electricity. This innovative approach to infectious disease diagnostics can be implemented in resource-limited settings.