The main research interest of Biomicrofluidics Laboratory is to understand the mechanisms of biological phenomenon by employing microfluidic platform. Different microfluidic platforms can be used to mimic the physiological local 3D microenvironment of cell and tissue, and moreover, microfluidics enable application of biophysical and biochemical stimuli to utilize engineering principles to better elucidate the nature of biological response in question.
Fig. 1 Microvasculature is formed in microfluidic device using GFP-labelled human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs)

Microfluidic platforms for biological applications

Microfluidic systems have major advantage in studying biological phenomenon since they can mimic aspects of the 3D in vivo situation in a controlled environment while simultaneously providing in situ imaging capabilities for visualization and enabling cell-cell and cell-matrix interaction quantifications. Despite supporting experimental evidence showing the importance of complex microenvironment, none of the previously reported in vitro systems has reproduced the specific cross-talk among several cell types in a complex pathophysiological microenvironment such as cancer or atherosclerosis model. Moreover, microfluidics allow parametric study of multiple factors in controlled and repeatable conditions. In Biomicrofluidics Lab, we will develop a microfluidic assay and use it to study different disease models including cancer metastasis and evolution of atherosclerosis. The platform will allow organ-specific mimetic to better clarify the mutual interactions between different cell populations in a well-defined microenvironment, in order to develop highly focused and more effective therapies.

Fig. 2 Different designs of microfluidic systems are utilized for different conditions [1] .