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Microfluidic Tools for Stem Cell Biology

  • Author(s): Simon, Melinda Grace
  • Advisor(s): Lee, Abraham P
  • et al.
Abstract

Microfluidics has much to offer the field of stem cell biology, making interaction with single cells possible, as well as offering the ability to manipulate and actuate cells using electrical control. In this work, the use of electrical impedance as a readout for single cell assays in droplets was explored as part of a larger goal toward a total analysis system to link cell genotype to phenotype. Such technology could provide clues about the signaling changes that precede differentiation in these populations. Subsequently, a high throughput sorting platform for the separation of neural stem and progenitor cell populations based on dielectrophoresis was designed and validated. The system will provide sufficient numbers of purified cell populations to enable stem cell transplantation studies in animals. Finally, an electrical stimulation system for the maturation of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes was developed. This system will be used to enable personalized medicine applications in drug toxicity testing, as well as for the basic study of factors promoting expression of the adult phenotype from pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.

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