We are active members of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) and the Berkeley Stem Cell Center, with students in several departments including the UC Berkeley-UCSF Graduate Group in Bioengineering, Berkeley’s Biophysics Graduate Group, and Mechanical Engineering.

Current Research Projects:

Cancer


 

Using Node-Pore Sensing to Mechanically Phenotype Cancer Cells

Junghyun Kim

We are utilizing NPS to phenotype cancer cells based on their mechanical properties.  Our goal is to correlate mechanical phenotype with invasive potential using.

Node-Pore Sensing

Francois Rivest

Node-Pore Sensing (NPS) is a label-free technique that can screen for multiple markers on the surface of cells, simultaneously.  Currently, we are applying NPS to phenotype subpopulations of cells for cancer diagnosis and monitoring.   At the same time, with Prof. Michael Lusting in EECS, we are focused on developing the next-generation NPS by encoding our devices with codes used in radar, Wi-Fi, and telecommunication. 

Optofluidic Platform for Label-Free Cell-Surface Marker Screening

Roberto Falcon-Banchs

We are developing an optofluidic version of NPS and are developing cell-tracking algorithms to measure the transient-binding interaction between surface markers and specific antibodies.  We aim to apply this platform to point-of-care diagnosis and monitoring of cancer.

Liquid Biopsy Platform

Daniel Yang

We are developing a microfluidic platform which utilizes inertial forces to isolate rare cells for downstream analysis and therapeutic monitoring.

Stem Cells


 

Engineering Strategies for Studying the Neural Stem-Cell Niche

Olivia Scheideler

In a collaboration with Prof. David Schaffer (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), we are developing new DNA-based patterning technologies that enable us to dissect the complex mechanisms of niche signals on instructing single neural stem-cell fate decisions. 

Patterned 3D Cell Culturing

Nahyun Cho

We are developing a novel cell-culturing platform in which we are able to tightly control  the stiffness dynamically via light cues. This hydrogel platform could help mimic in vivo dynamic stiffness environments, such as blood vessels, which will greatly influence our understanding of mechanobiology.

In Vitro Assays for Drug Testing

Sewoon Han, Ph.D.

We are developing microchips that attempt to recapitulate the mechanical and biochemical pathologies of specific human tissues.  These chips could ultimately be used for accurate in vitro assay drug testing.

In-vitro human endothelial cell wall model

Roberto Falcon-Banchs

We are developing an in-vitro model of the human endothelial cell wall micro-environment which will aid us in the study of trans-endothelial migration.