Single Cell Studies and Biomechanics

Composite image showing multiple methods of cellular interrogation. A novel Nanofountain Probe (NFP) is used to pattern arrays of functional nanoparticles, drugs, or biomolecules. Cells are subsequently cultured on these patterned substrates and their response to a given dose observed. The NFP is also used to inject bioagents directly into living cells. By observing the injected cells' response, and that of its neighbors, cellular pathways, toxicity, gene expression, and drug delivery are investigated at the single cell level.

We apply nanoscale tools to address challenges in cell biology and therapeutic development. We leverage core technologies originally developed for Probe-Based Nanomanufacturing and MEMS applications to study nanomaterial-mediated drug delivery and cellular pathways, mechanics, and adhesion. Whereas typical in vitro studies are limited to cell populations, these broadly-applicable tools enable multifaceted interrogation at a truly single cell level.


Specific interests include:

  1. In vitro single cell injection. Development and application of probe-based tools for targeted nanomaterial delivery in cellular pathway, gene expression, and drug delivery studies.
  2. Cell-cell adhesion studies. Development of novel MEMS platforms enabling simultaneous mechanical loading of cell-cell junctions and real-time high resolution imaging of their response.
  3. Probe-based nanomanufacturing. Direct-write deposition of functional drugs, nanoparticles, and biomolecules with sub-100-nanometer resolution for dosing studies and construction of biodetection assays, expression profiles, and devices.



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