Design and Fabrication of a Microfluidic Device for the Live Imaging of Cells Encapsulated in Biomimetic Hydrogel Scaffolds

Project Title: Design and Fabrication of a Microfluidic Device for the Live Imaging of Cells Encapsulated in Biomimetic Hydrogel Scaffolds

Project Duration: May 25 – August 1, 2015 (10 weeks), 40 hours per week.

Project Mentors

  • Primary Faculty Mentor (Name, Affiliation, website and Email/Phone):

Lohitash Karumbaiah, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Bioscience Center

The University of Georgia

ADS Complex | 425, River Road, Rm 310 | Athens, GA 30602-2771

Ph: 706-542-2017| Fax: 706-583-0274 | Email: lohitash at uga dot edu

http://www.karumbaiahlab.org |http://www.rbc.uga.edu

 

  • Secondary Faculty Mentor (Name, Affiliation, website and Email/Phone):

Professor Leidong Mao

College of Engineering

The University of Georgia, Athens

Riverbend Research Laboratory South

220 Riverbend Road Room 166

Athens, GA 30602

706.542.1871 — Tel (office)

mao@uga.edu

http://micronano.engr.uga.edu

 

  • Graduate Student/PostDoc mentors (Name, Affiliation and Email/Phone):

Meghan Logun

Graduate Student

Regenerative Bioscience Center

The University of Georgia

ADS Complex, 425, River Road, Athens, GA 30602-2771

meglog@uga.edu

 

Martha Betancur

Graduate Student

Regenerative Bioscience Center

The University of Georgia

ADS Complex, 425, River Road, Athens, GA 30602-2771

marthbet@uga.edu

 

 

Project Description:

While several studies have investigated tumor cell proliferation, and migration. Little is known about the tumor microenvironment and the influence, if any, of the biophysical interactions taking place in this milieu on cellular behavior. Hydrogels fabricated from natural or synthetic polymers can be used effectively to mimic the mechanical properties of tissue and the tumor microenvironment, and can potentially serve as ideal substrates to study tumor cell behavior in vitro. In this study, we hypothesize that glycosaminoglycan hydrogels can be modified to elicit a range of behaviors from encapsulated tumor cells, and that these outcomes can be visualized in real-time using a novel microfluidic device. This project is highly interdisciplinary in nature, involving microfluidics, biomaterials, Imaging, and cell and molecular biology. If successful, this platform technology can potentially be used to study stem cell behavior and can inform a host of other cell-transplantation therapies.

 

REU Student Role and Responsibility:

In this study, we hypothesize that glycosaminoglycan hydrogels can be modified to elicit a range of behaviors from encapsulated tumor cells, and that these outcomes can be visualized in real-time using a novel microfluidic device.

 

The REU student will be responsible for:

  1. Working with a graduate student mentor in the Karumbaiah Lab, and personnel in Prof. Leidong Mao’s lab to design the microfluidic imaging device.
  2. Cell culture of tumor cells and stem cells
  3. Hydrogel encapsulation of tumor cells and stem cells
  4. Labeling and live-cell imaging of encapsulated cells

 

Expected Outcome for REU student:

If successful in our approach, the student’s contribution on this project is expected to result in journal publications, conference presentations, and grant and patent applications in the near future.

Tanasse REU Poster

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