Matching Items (34)

135861-Thumbnail Image.png

The Focusing of Proteins Using Dielectrophoresis in an Improved Microfluidic Device

Description

Dielectrophoresis is a separations strategy that has the potential to separate small amounts of different proteins from each other. The forces at play in the channel used for dielectrophoresis are

Dielectrophoresis is a separations strategy that has the potential to separate small amounts of different proteins from each other. The forces at play in the channel used for dielectrophoresis are electroosmotic flow (EOF), electrophoresis (EP), and dielectrophoresis (DEP). EOF is the force exerted on liquid from an applied potential (1). EP is the force exerted on charged particles in a uniform electric field (2). DEP is the force exerted on particles (charged and uncharged) in a non-uniform electric field (3). This experiment was focused on the testing of a new microfluidic device to see if it could improve the focusing of proteins in dielectrophoresis. It was predicted that the addition of a salt bridge would improve focusing by preventing the ions created by the electrolysis of water around the electrodes from interacting with the proteins and causing aggregation, among other problems. Control trials using the old device showed that electrolysis was likely occurring and was the causal agent for poor outcomes. After applying the electric potential for some time a pH front traveled through the channel causing aggregation of proteins and the current in the channel decreased rapidly, even while the voltage was held constant. The resistance in the channels of the control trials also slightly decreased over time, until the pH shift occurred, at which time it increased rapidly. Experimental trials with a new device that included salt bridges eliminated this pH front and had a roughly linear increase of current in the channel with the voltage applied. This device can now be used in future research with protein dielectrophoresis, including in the potential differentiation of different proteins. References: 1) Electroosmosis. Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2. Oxford University Press: Oxford, England. 2006. 2) Electrophoresis. Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2. Oxford University Press: Oxford, England. 2006. 3) Dielectrophoresis. Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2. Oxford University Press: Oxford, England. 2006.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

133224-Thumbnail Image.png

In Cell Western Blotting for Quantifying Protein Expression in 3D Tumor-Stroma Microfluidic Device

Description

After more than 40 years since the signing of the National Cancer Act in 1970, cancer remains a formidable challenge. Cancer is currently the second most common cause of death

After more than 40 years since the signing of the National Cancer Act in 1970, cancer remains a formidable challenge. Cancer is currently the second most common cause of death in the United States, and worldwide cancer cases are projected to rise 50% between 2012 and 2030 [1-2]. While researchers have dramatically expanded our understanding of the biology of cancer, they have also revealed the staggering complexity and difficulty of developing successful treatments for the disease. More complex assays involving three dimensional cell culture offer the potential to model complex interactions, such as those involving the extracellular matrix (ECM), chemical concentration gradients, and the impact of vascularization of a tissue mass. Modern cancer assays thus promise to be both more accurate and more complex than previous models. One promising newly developed type of assay is microfluidics. Microfluidic devices consist of a silicone polymer stamp bonded to a glass slide. The stamp is patterned to produce a network of channels for cell culture. These devices allow manipulation of liquids on a sub-millimeter level, allowing researchers to produce a tightly controlled 3D microenvironment for cell culture. Our lab previously developed a microfluidic device to measure cancer cell invasion in response to a variety of signals and conditions. The small volume associated with microfluidics offers a number of advantages, but simultaneously make it impractical to use certain traditional cell analysis procedures, such as Western Blotting. As a result, measuring protein expression of cells in the microfluidic device was a continuing challenge. In order to expand the utility of microfluidic devices, it was therefore very enticing to develop a means of measuring protein expression inside the device. One possible solution was identified in the technique of In-Cell-Western blotting (ICW). ICW consists of using infrared-fluorescently stained antibodies to stain a protein of interest. This signal is measured using an infrared laser scanner, producing images that can be analyzed to quantitatively measure protein expression. ICW has been well validated in traditional 2D plate culture conditions, but has not been applied in conjunction with microfluidic devices. This project worked to evaluate In-Cell-Western blotting for use in microfluidic devices as a method of quantifying protein expression in situ.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

147759-Thumbnail Image.png

Numerical Modeling of Hydrodynamic Flow Focusing in a Microfluidic Device for Time-Resolved Serial Crystallography

Description

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) with an X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) has enabled the determination of protein structures and protein reaction intermediates in millisecond to microsecond time resolutions. Mix-and-Inject crystallography (MISC)

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) with an X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) has enabled the determination of protein structures and protein reaction intermediates in millisecond to microsecond time resolutions. Mix-and-Inject crystallography (MISC) at XFELs enables fast mixing in the magnitude of milliseconds in order to achieve desired reaction time points. For these experiments, numerical simulations of a hydrodynamic flow mixer capable of fast mixing by diffusion has been developed using both COMSOL Multiphysics 5.6 and QuickerSims Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Toolbox for MATLAB. These simulation programs were compared by calculations of mixing times and concentration flow profiles. Mixing times in the range of 1-10 ms were calculated in COMSOL under certain flow rate conditions whereas mixing times in the range of 6-15 ms were calculated with QuickerSims. From these mixing times, reaction intermediates can be varied from sub-millisecond to several hundred millisecond time points for a MISC experiment. Explanations for the discrepancies between the two models were attributed to variations in parameter definitions and meshing. Further analysis on the mixing characteristics were investigated by calculating an analytical solution to the convection-diffusion equation for fluid flow in a two-dimensional rectangular channel. The concentration profile along the width of the channel for the analytical solution was compared with the numerical solution obtained with COMSOL and QuickerSims. Upon comparison, it was determined that the diffusion coefficient may not be a significant factor for the disagreement between the two hydrodynamic flow models.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

136904-Thumbnail Image.png

In Situ RNA Expression Analysis Using Two-Photon Laser Lysis (2PLL) and Microfluidic RT-qPCR

Description

A major goal of the Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation (CBDA) is to design a diagnostic tool that detects novel cancer biosignatures at the single-cell level. We designed the

A major goal of the Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation (CBDA) is to design a diagnostic tool that detects novel cancer biosignatures at the single-cell level. We designed the Single-cell QUantitative In situ Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (SQUIRT-PCR) system by combining a two-photon laser lysis (2PLL) system with a microfluidic reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) platform. It is important to identify early molecular changes from intact tissues as prognosis for premalignant conditions and develop new molecular targets for prevention of cancer progression and improved therapies. This project analyzes RNA expression at the single-cell level and presents itself with two major challenges: (1) detecting low levels of RNA and (2) minimizing RNA absorption in the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channel. The first challenge was overcome by successfully detecting picogram (pg) levels of RNA using the Fluidigm (FD) BioMark™ HD System (Fluidigm Corporation, South San Francisco, CA) for RT-qPCR analysis. This technology incorporates a highly precise integrated fluidic circuit (IFC) that allows for high-throughput genetic screening using microarrays. The second challenge entailed collecting data from RNA flow-through samples that were passed through microfluidic channels. One channel was treated with a coating of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and the other remained untreated. Various flow-through samples were subjected to RT-qPCR and analyzed using the FD FLEXsix™ Gene Expression IFC. As predicted, the results showed that the treated PDMS channel absorbed less RNA than the untreated PDMS channel. Once the optimization of the PDMS microfluidic platform is complete, it will be implemented into the 2PLL system. This novel technology will be able to identify cell populations in situ and could have a large impact on cancer diagnostics.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

137416-Thumbnail Image.png

Temperature Measurement In Microfluidic Devics

Description

Microfluidics is an expanding research area for analytical chemistry and the biomedical industry. Microfludic devices have been used for protein and DNA sorting, early detection techniques for cancer and other

Microfluidics is an expanding research area for analytical chemistry and the biomedical industry. Microfludic devices have been used for protein and DNA sorting, early detection techniques for cancer and other disease, and a variety of other analytical techniques. Dielectrophoresis is a technique is often used to control particles within microfluidic devices however the non-uniform electric field can affect the interior of the device. In order to expand the applications of microfluidic devices and to make it easier to work with techniques such as dielectrophoresis, it is essential to understand as much as possible about how the internal environment of the device will affect the sample. A significant part of this is being able to non-invasively determine the temperature inside the microfluidic device in the both the channel and reservoir regions. Several other research group have successfully used temperature sensitive dyes and fluorescence to measure the temperature within microfluidic devices so research began with understanding their techniques and trying to optimize them for the chosen microfluidic channel. Results from calibration and reservoir tests show that there is a linear relationship between the temperature of the channel and the ratio between the dyes Rhodamine 110 and Rhodamine B. Results within the channel showed that the calibration may be difficult to apply directly as absorption from the PDMS continues to be a problem but several coatings can be used to improve the results.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

132161-Thumbnail Image.png

Determining GPNMB Abundance Effects on Breast Cancer-Stroma Interactions

Description

Tumor-stroma interactions significantly influence cancer cell metastasis and disease progression. These interactions partly comprise crosstalk between tumor and stromal fibroblasts, but the key molecular mechanisms within the crosstalk governing cancer

Tumor-stroma interactions significantly influence cancer cell metastasis and disease progression. These interactions partly comprise crosstalk between tumor and stromal fibroblasts, but the key molecular mechanisms within the crosstalk governing cancer invasion are still unclear. Here we develop a 3D in vitro organotypic microfluidic to model tumor-stroma interaction by mimicking the spatial organization of the tumor microenvironment on a chip. We co-culture breast cancer and patient-derived fibroblast cells in 3D tumor and stroma regions respectively and combine functional assessments, including cancer cell migration, with transcriptome profiling to unveil the molecular influence of tumor-stroma crosstalk on invasion. This led to the observation that cancer associated fibroblasts enhanced invasion in 3D by inducing the expression of a novel gene of interest, GPNMB, in breast cancer cells resulting in increased migration speed. Importantly, knockdown of GPNMB blunted the influence of CAFs on enhancing cancer invasion. Overall, these results demonstrate the ability of our model to recapitulate patient specific tumor microenvironment to investigate cellular and molecular consequences of tumor-stroma interactions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

158077-Thumbnail Image.png

High Resolution Identification of Bioparticle Subpopulations with Electrophysical Properties

Description

There is increasing interest and demand in biology studies for identifying and characterizing rare cells or bioparticle subtypes. These subpopulations demonstrate special function, as examples, in multipotent proliferation, immune system

There is increasing interest and demand in biology studies for identifying and characterizing rare cells or bioparticle subtypes. These subpopulations demonstrate special function, as examples, in multipotent proliferation, immune system response, and cancer diagnosis. Current techniques for separation and identification of these targets lack the accuracy and sensitivity needed to interrogate the complex and diverse bioparticle mixtures. High resolution separations of unlabeled and unaltered cells is an emerging capability. In particular, electric field-driven punctuated microgradient separations have shown high resolution separations of bioparticles. These separations are based on biophysical properties of the un-altered bioparticles. Here, the properties of the bioparticles were identified by ratio of electrokinetic (EK) to dielectrophoretic (DEP) mobilities.

As part of this dissertation, high-resolution separations have been applied to neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs). The abundance of NSPCs captured with different range of ratio of EK to DEP mobilities are consistent with the final fate trends of the populations. This supports the idea of unbiased and unlabeled high-resolution separation of NSPCs to specific fates is possible. In addition, a new strategy to generate reproducible subpopulations using varied applied potential were employed for studying insulin vesicles from beta cells. The isolated subpopulations demonstrated that the insulin vesicles are heterogenous and showed different distribution of mobility ratios when compared with glucose treated insulin vesicles. This is consistent with existing vesicle density and local concentration data. Furthermore, proteins, which are accepted as challenging small bioparticles to be captured by electrophysical method, were concentrated by this technique. Proteins including IgG, lysozyme, alpha-chymotrypsinogen A were differentiated and characterized with the ratio factor. An extremely narrow bandwidth and high resolution characterization technique, which is experimentally simple and fast, has been developed for proteins. Finally, the native whole cell separation technique has also been applied for Salmonella serotype identification and differentiation for the first time. The technique generated full differentiation of four serotypes of Salmonella. These works may lead to a less expensive and more decentralized new tool and method for transplantation, proteomics, basic research, and microbiologists, working in parallel with other characterization methods.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

Optimization and parametric characterization of a hydrodynamic microvortex chip for single cell rotation

Description

Volumetric cell imaging using 3D optical Computed Tomography (cell CT) is advantageous for identification and characterization of cancer cells. Many diseases arise from genomic changes, some of which are manifest

Volumetric cell imaging using 3D optical Computed Tomography (cell CT) is advantageous for identification and characterization of cancer cells. Many diseases arise from genomic changes, some of which are manifest at the cellular level in cytostructural and protein expression (functional) features which can be resolved, captured and quantified in 3D far more sensitively and specifically than in traditional 2D microscopy. Live single cells were rotated about an axis perpendicular to the optical axis to facilitate data acquisition for functional live cell CT imaging. The goal of this thesis research was to optimize and characterize the microvortex rotation chip. Initial efforts concentrated on optimizing the microfabrication process in terms of time (6-8 hours v/s 12-16 hours), yield (100% v/s 40-60%) and ease of repeatability. This was done using a tilted exposure lithography technique, as opposed to the backside diffuser photolithography (BDPL) method used previously (Myers 2012) (Chang and Yoon 2004). The fabrication parameters for the earlier BDPL technique were also optimized so as to improve its reliability. A new, PDMS to PDMS demolding process (soft lithography) was implemented, greatly improving flexibility in terms of demolding and improving the yield to 100%, up from 20-40%. A new pump and flow sensor assembly was specified, tested, procured and set up, allowing for both pressure-control and flow-control (feedback-control) modes; all the while retaining the best features of a previous, purpose-built pump assembly. Pilot experiments were performed to obtain the flow rate regime required for cell rotation. These experiments also allowed for the determination of optimal trapezoidal neck widths (opening to the main flow channel) to be used for cell rotation characterization. The optimal optical trap forces were experimentally estimated in order to minimize the required optical power incident on the cell. Finally, the relationships between (main channel) flow rates and cell rotation rates were quantified for different trapezoidal chamber dimensions, and at predetermined constant values of laser trapping strengths, allowing for parametric characterization of the system.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

152402-Thumbnail Image.png

Insulator based dielectrophoretic trapping of single mammalian cells

Description

This work demonstrated a novel microfluidic device based on direct current (DC) insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) for trapping individual mammalian cells in a microfluidic device. The novel device is also

This work demonstrated a novel microfluidic device based on direct current (DC) insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) for trapping individual mammalian cells in a microfluidic device. The novel device is also applicable for selective trapping of weakly metastatic mammalian breast cancer cells (MCF-7) from mixtures with mammalian Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) and highly metastatic mammalian breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231. The advantage of this approach is the ease of integration of iDEP structures in microfliudic channels using soft lithography, the use of DC electric fields, the addressability of the single cell traps for downstream analysis and the straightforward multiplexing for single cell trapping. These microfluidic devices are targeted for capturing of single cells based on their DEP behavior. The numerical simulations point out the trapping regions in which single cell DEP trapping occurs. This work also demonstrates the cell conductivity values of different cell types, calculated using the single-shell model. Low conductivity buffers are used for trapping experiments. These low conductivity buffers help reduce the Joule heating. Viability of the cells in the buffer system was studied in detail with a population size of approximately 100 cells for each study. The work also demonstrates the development of the parallelized single cell trap device with optimized traps. This device is also capable of being coupled detection of target protein using MALDI-MS.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

154177-Thumbnail Image.png

Migration for organelles and bacteria in insulator-based microfluidic devices

Description

Efficient separation techniques for organelles and bacteria in the micron- and sub-micron range are required for various analytical challenges. Mitochondria have a wide size range resulting from the sub-populations, some

Efficient separation techniques for organelles and bacteria in the micron- and sub-micron range are required for various analytical challenges. Mitochondria have a wide size range resulting from the sub-populations, some of which may be associated with diseases or aging. However, traditional methods can often not resolve within-species size variations. Strategies to separate mitochondrial sub-populations by size are thus needed to study the importance of this organelle in cellular functions. Additionally, challenges also exist in distinguishing the sub-populations of bio-species which differ in the surface charge while possessing similar size, such as Salmonella typhimurium (Salmonella). The surface charge of Salmonella wild-type is altered upon environmental stimulations, influencing the bacterial survival and virulence within the host tissue. Therefore, it is important to explore methods to identify the sub-populations of Salmonella.

This work exploits insulator-based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) for the manipulation of mitochondria and Salmonella. The iDEP migration and trapping of mitochondria were investigated under both DC and low-frequency AC conditions, establishing that mitochondria exhibit negative DEP. Also, the first realization of size-based iDEP sorting experiments of mitochondria were demonstrated. As for Salmonella, the preliminary study revealed positive DEP behavior. Distinct trapping potential thresholds were found for the sub-populations with different surface charges.

Further, DEP was integrated with a non-intuitive migration mechanism termed absolute negative mobility (ANM), inducing a deterministic trapping component which allows the directed transport of µm- and sub-µm sized (bio)particles in microfluidic devices with a nonlinear post array under the periodic action of electrokinetic and dielectrophoretic forces. Regimes were revealed both numerically and experimentally in which larger particles migrate against the average applied force, whereas smaller particles show normal response. Moreover, this deterministic ANM (dANM) was characterized with polystyrene beads demonstrating improved migration speed at least two orders of magnitude higher compared to previous ANM systems with similar sized colloids. In addition, dANM was induced for mitochondria with an AC-overlaid waveform representing the first demonstration of ANM migration with biological species. Thus, it is envisioned that the efficient size selectivity of this novel migration mechanism can be employed in nanotechnology, organelle sub-population studies or fractionating protein nanocrystals.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015