Smart Micro-engineered Platforms for Biomedical Testing and Precision Medicine

17/05/2022 16:00

Biological investigations at the cellular and molecular level offer exciting opportunities for diagnosis and monitoring of a disease, as well as for gaining biological insights to develop effective therapies. Well-matched in size, micro- and nano-engineered devices are ideally suited for these purposes and offer unique capabilities from highly localized and deterministic sample manipulation to precise quantitative measurements. In this talk, I will first focus on our efforts to develop microfluidic systems (a.k.a Lab on a Chip) with embedded sensor networks for quantitative analysis of biological samples.

Typically, microfluidic devices lack an embedded sensing scheme and hence are often used for upstream sample preparation, while quantitative measurements are delegated to specialized external laboratory instruments. Such reliance on external instruments hampers widespread adoption of biochips in point-of-care settings, where they can be truly transformative in healthcare delivery. To this end, I will present microfluidic devices with built-in electrical sensor networks that digitally monitor the state of each and every cell in a microfluidic device to perform high-throughput physical and chemical measurements. I will then present our work on using paper as a low-cost substrate to create programmable microfluidic systems for molecular testing. I will demonstrate how capillary fluid flow in these systems can be controlled through timer gates to perform complex molecular analyses that otherwise require advanced instruments and manual labor. I will conclude by presenting clinical applications of some of our work and talk about our microfluidic devices that can deterministically scan cancer patient blood samples and isolate metastatic circulating tumor cells for personalized medicine in cancer therapy.

Speaker Bio: A. Fatih Sarioglu is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received the B.Sc. degree from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey in 2003, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 2005 and 2010, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Sarioglu worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering at Stanford University from 2010 to 2012. From 2012-2014, he was a research fellow at the Center for Engineering in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sarioglu's research interests are at the interface of nano-/micro-engineering and biomedicine. He develops microchip-based cellular and molecular assays for cancer detection, point-of-care diagnostics and health monitoring.