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Microsystems for manipulating and measuring cells

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As cell biology moves to a more quantitative science, there has been an increasing need for new methods to study and manipulate individual cells and cell assemblies. In this talk I will describe our research in developing microtechnologies that allow us to measure and manipulate cells for both fundamental biology and biotechnology. Our research focuses on two technologies: dielectrophoresis, which acts as electrical “tweezers” for cells, and microfluidics, which we use to control the cell microenvironment. In this talk I will describe how we have combined these two technologies to create a variety of enabling systems. For example, we are using microfluidics and physical cell patterning to for modulating stem cell diffusible and contact-mediated signaling. We are also developing a number of technologies (electrical, optical, etc.) to allow for image-based sorting of cells, augmenting traditional microscopy with a sorting functionality. Finally, we have been developing electrical methods to separate cells that are ideally suited for novel screens.

This talk is part of the Nanoscience Centre Seminar Series series.

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