My paper entitled “Characterization of microfluidic shear-dependent epithelial cell adhesion molecule immunocapture and enrichment of pancreatic cancer cells from blood cells with dielectrophoresis” was recently published in the journal Biomicrofluidics. This paper describes my work on characterizing shear-dependent EpCAM immunocapture of pancreatic cancer cells enhanced by positive dielectrophoresis (DEP) and nonspecific adhesion of blood cells reduced by negative DEP. We evaluated capture probability as a function of shear stress, cell surface chemistry, and normal force using a capture probability model, and demonstrated that DEP can enhance immunocapture of cancer cells with lower EpCAM expression and that immunocapture purity can potentially be improved by repelling blood cells with negative DEP. This work informs the design of future hybrid DEP-immunocapture devices with increased CTC capture purity, which will facilitate subsequent functional and genetic analyses to elucidate cancer progression and develop more effective treatment options.
Huang C, Smith JP, Saha TM, Rhim AD, Kirby BJ. “Characterization of microfluidic shear-dependent epithelial cell adhesion molecule immunocapture and enrichment of pancreatic cancer cells from blood cells with dielectrophoresis,” Biomicrofluidics, 8(4): 044107, 2014. DOI
I also recently started as a Postdoctoral Research Staff Member at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA in the Center for Bioengineering, Micro and Nano Technology Section of the Materials Engineering Division. I will be working on an acoustofluidics cell/particle separation project as well as a microfluidic nanoparticle synthesis project. I am very much enjoying NorCal weather and having weekends free!
Chao “Charlie” Huang successfully defended his PhD thesis on characterization of microfluidic shear-dependent immunocapture and enrichment of cancer cells from blood cells with dielectrophoresis. Charlie’s thesis committee members included chair Brian J. Kirby (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), Susan Daniel (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), and Robert S. Weiss (Biomedical Sciences).
My paper “Enrichment of prostate cancer cells from blood cells with a hybrid dielectrophoresis and immunocapture microfluidic system” was recently published in the journal Biomedical Microdevices. This paper describes my work on characterizing cancer cell enrichment from blood cells using a combination of dielectrophoresis (DEP) and immunocapture techniques. I showed that dielectrophoresis can enhance the capture of prostate cancer cells while reducing the nonspecific adhesion of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to immunocapture surfaces. This work informs the design of future hybrid DEP-immunocapture devices for high-purity rare cell capture.
Huang C, Liu H, Bander NH, Kirby BJ. “Enrichment of prostate cancer cells from blood cells with a hybrid dielectrophoresis and immunocapture microfluidic system,” Biomedical Microdevices, 15(6): 941-8, 2013. DOI
Recently, my paper “Characterization of a hybrid dielectrophoresis and immunocapture microfluidic system for cancer cell capture” was published in and featured on the cover of ELECTROPHORESIS.
This paper describes how characterization of adhesion of prostate cancer cells to immunocapture surfaces with and without dielectrophoresis (DEP) effects as a function of shear stress was performed in a Hele-Shaw flow cell. Gold interdigitated electrodes were deposited on a glass surface that was functionalized with a prostate-specific monoclonal antibody, J591; these electrodes applied an electric field gradient to attract prostate cancer cells to the immunocapture surface with positive DEP. This work demonstrates that DEP and immunocapture techniques can work synergistically to improve cancer cell capture performance, and it informs the design of future high-purity rare cell capture systems to facilitate genetic and pharmacological evaluation of cancer.
Huang C, S Santana, Liu H, Bander NH, Hawkins BG, Kirby BJ. ”Characterization of a hybrid dielectrophoresis and immunocapture microfluidic system for cancer cell capture,” Electrophoresis, 34(20): 2970-9, 2013. DOI
This past week I traveled to Seattle to give a talk at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting. My talk in the Nano to Micro Technologies track was entitled “A Hybrid Dielectrophoresis and Immunocapture System for Enhanced Capture of Circulating Tumor Cells” and described my recent work on enriching prostate cancer cells from blood cells with dielectrophoresis and immunocapture techniques. The session was chaired by Kirby Lab alumnus Ben Hawkins, now an Assistant Professor at San Jose State University.
This was my 4th year in a row attending the BMES Annual Meeting, and it has been amazing to see it grow this quickly… Attendance records are being broken every year! This year I focused on attending the career advice panels and meeting company representatives as I begin a job hunt in the medical device industry.
I attended and gave a talk at the Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF) Annual Meeting 2013 in Ithaca, NY. My presentation was entitled “A Hybrid Dielectrophoresis and Immunocapture Microfluidic System for Enhanced Rare Cancer Cell Capture” and I also presented a poster on the same work. I really enjoyed catching up with old colleagues and meeting new ones at the conference… and all the delicious free food was nice too!
The CNF Annual Meeting brings together researchers at Cornell and neighboring institutions to present the latest innovations in micro- and nanoscale technologies. This year’s featured keynote speaker was Prof. Robert Austin from Princeton, who gave a great talk entitled “All Features Great and Small.”
This past semester started off on a high note as I passed my PhD candidacy exam. My presentation was entitled “Actuation, Characterization, and Capture of Cancer Cells using Dielectrophoresis (DEP).” I described my previous work on developing an automated DEP characterization system, as well as my current and proposed research on cancer cell capture with DEP. My thesis committee members are Brian Kirby (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), Susan Daniel (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), and Robert Weiss (Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine).
More recently, I submitted two first-author papers describing my current research on improving cancer cell capture with a combination of DEP and immunocapture techniques. For my thesis, I will continue to work on designing a novel hybrid DEP-immunocapture microfluidic system to improve the capture purity of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patient blood. I also plan to make blog posts describing my two submitted papers in more detail once they are published.
Finally, several Kirby Lab members including myself took Prof. Kirby’s “Cancer for Engineers” class this past semester. The class was designed to teach cancer to physical science and engineering graduate students with little to no prior training in biology. We covered different types of cancer, details of oncogenesis and metastasis, clinical case studies, and medical intervention and surgical options. I found the class especially helpful in differentiating between the various types of cancer, as I only have previous experience working with prostate cancer.