BME PhD Prospectus Defense - Erika Fong

1:00 pm on Thursday, July 18, 2013
44 Cummington, Room 705
Title: Sample Preparation on the Micro-Scale: Digestion, Separation and Identification

Committee: Muhammad Zaman, Bela Suki, Mario Cabodi, Mo Kahlil, Maxim Shusteff

Despite the potential of Lab-On-a-Chip (LOC) devices to simplify and automate complex bench-top procedures in a contained device, the issue of sample preparation remains a major challenge. Firstly, samples must be completely digested to prevent device clogging. Sample homogenization is essential to ensure repeatable results when only a small portion of the sample is used for analysis. Therefore it is important to understand the rheology of samples. Methods to quantify sample microrheology will be investigated to measure sample digestion. Alternatively, large sample volumes can be purified and concentrated on chip. Thus, a high-throughput cell purification platform using acoustic forces is explored for cell-virus separation applications. After cells of interest are extracted and purified from the original sample they must be identified. However, there is a severe deficit in noninvasive biomarkers. Using binding affinity assays and cell staining to select for cells of interest significantly hinders downstream analysis by altering cell state. This work aims to expand the available range of noninvasive biomarkers by identifying cell electrical characteristics that predict changes in cell physical parameters, disease state, or biological activity.