Microengineered Devices for Single Cell Analysis in Preclinical and Clinical Research
Conference Recording Nov 18, 2013
About the Speaker
Nancy Allbritton, Professor and Chair, University of North CarolinaTuebingen.
Methods from engineering and the physical sciences are now being used to create novel tools to study basic biological phenomena in order to elucidate the complex relationships that underlie the behaviors of living cells with a focus on individual cells and cellular microenvironments. Much of my research is focused on the development and testing of bioanalytical platforms to enable the study of how single cells receive and process information. We are currently developing integrated microanalytical platforms in both array and microfluidic formats to address critical preclinical and clinical needs in accurately monitoring drug action and identifying the patient who will respond to new therapies aimed at modulating signal transduction pathways. In order to manipulate individual cells, the lab has also pioneered the development of novel microfabricated devices to enable the analysis and isolation of cells while they remain in culture. These technologies possess a number of advantages over current cell separation methods as cells can be monitored over time and selected based on a wide range of characteristics. Numerous applications of these microfabricated devices are being pursued, including efficient cloning of mouse stem cells, purification of cancer stem cells from patient samples and isolation of tumor-targeted lymphocytes for cancer immunotherapy.