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Our laboratory specializes in applying micro- and nano-scale technologies to problems in medicine. We have been focusing on three major problems.
(i) Global Health: More than 35 million HIV-infected people live in the developing world, where resources are scarce. We have been developing low-cost diagnostic devices for global health problems, such as counting CD4+ T lymphocytes in HIV infected patients at resource limited settings. The absolute number of CD4+ T lymphocytes in blood is vital for evaluating HIV-infected patients and has important prognostic and therapeutic implications. Currently, these values are obtained through using a flow cytometer, which is a very expensive method. Moreover, we aim to develop technologies to capture various cell types from blood using nanoparticles, and microscale technologies.
(ii) Tissue Engineering: We apply our acoustic wave expertise to create picoliter-sized droplets that encapsulate single cells. Our objective is to develop technology to print these droplets for cell-by-cell 3-dimensional tissue generation.
(iii) Microfluidics for Cryopreservation: Cell encapsulating droplets have medical applications including single to few cell cryopreservation. We have demonstrated that we can vitrify cells encapsulated in cryoprotectant droplets. This creates a new regime for biopreservation using cell encapsulating droplets. Being able to vitrify at low cryoprotectant concentrations decreases the possible osmotic shock to cells and cytotoxicity levels within the cell.
77 Massachusetts Avenue, E25-519, Cambridge, MA 02139