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You are here: Home Faculty Bioengineering Full-Time Faculty Dr. Palanaippan Sethu Microscale Biotechnology Research

Microscale Biotechnology Research

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 Microfluidics for Cell and Molecular Biology

 Microfluidics deals with the behavior, precise control and manipulation of fluids that are geometrically constrained to small, typically  sub-milimeter, scales. It is a multidisciplinary field intersecting engineering, physics, chemistry, microtechnology and biotechnology, with  practical applications to the design of systems in which such small volumes of fluids will be used. The behavior of fluids at the microscale  can differ from 'macrofluidic' behavior in that factors such as surface tension, energy dissipation, and fluidic resistance start to dominate  and properties such as inertia and convection become negligible. Microfluidics studies how these behaviors change, and how they can be worked around, or exploited for new uses. In our lab we use microfluidics for various applications in biology and medicine.

Research Focus Areas


Microfluidic Cellular and Molecular Analysis:

Active projects in this area include:

 1. Blood Cell Sorting 

2. Enrichment of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) and Peripheral Blood Stem Cells form Blood

3. Radiation Biomarker Discovery and Detection using Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) Platforms

4. Real-Time Imaging and Detection of Sub-Cellular NF-KB Localization in Cells

Physiologically Relevant Cell Culture Models:

Active projects in this area include the use of the

 Cardiac Cell Culture Model (CCCM) for:

  1. Cardiac tissue regeneration
  2. Injury and disease models of cardiac tissue
  3. Evaluating the effects of extracorporeal support on cardiac function and repair


Endothelial Cell Culture Model (ECCM) for:

  1. Evaluating the role of mechanical stresses in determination of EC phenotype and function
  2. Role of Sphingosine 1 Phosphate in the transduction of mechanical stresses by endothelial cells
  3. Role of pulsatility (In the context of Ventricular Assist Devices)
  4. Generation of in vitro models of Atherosclerosis
  5. Evaluating the role of Smooth Muscle Cells in directing EC phenotype and function


Periodic Linear Acceleration (pGz) based Therapeutics

Active projects in this area include:

1. Cellular-level effects of pGz

2. Evaluating the role of pGZ in the treatment of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

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