BMSE Seminar : "Studying cell signaling in complex environments using open microfluidic models"


Prof. Ashleigh Theberge, UW Dept. of Chemistry, Host: Streichan & Pruitt

Date and Location

Wednesday April 24, 2019 11:00am to 12:00pm
1605 Elings Hall


Small molecule and protein signals provide a rich vocabulary for cellular communication. To better understand signaling processes in both normal and disease states, there is a growing need for cell culture platforms that interface with analytical chemistry tools and recreate key features of the in vivo cell microenvironment. We have developed new open microfluidic platforms that accommodate the culture of multiple cell types in microfabricated compartments connected via semipermeable hydrogel membranes. Our microscale culture systems allow a 10- to 500-fold reduction in volume compared to conventional assays, enabling experiments with limited cells from patient samples. Furthermore, our devices are open, pipette accessible, and interface with high resolution microscopy and sampling methods for downstream gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) increasing translation to collaborators in biological and clinical labs without chemistry and engineering expertise. Finally, this talk will highlight recent results using open microfluidic principles to develop novel strategies to 3D print hydrogels for biological and materials science applications.