Navigation Links
Wayne State University researcher's techniques enable more, faster testing of biological liquids
Date:2/21/2013

DETROIT Two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to a Wayne State University researcher could amount to far more than a drop in the bucket when it comes to handling liquids for biological screening.

Amar Basu, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering, recently received the grants, which total $636,000, to support his work on microfluidic technologies in an effort to help scientists rapidly conduct thousands of chemical, genetic and pharmacological tests through a process called high-throughput screening (HTS).

The process is used to identify active compounds, antibodies or genes that modulate biomolecular pathways and can provide the information necessary to design drugs and understand individual biochemical processes. HTS is usually cost-prohibitive because it relies on sophisticated liquid handling robotics, sensitive detectors and, last but not least, the significant recurring cost of expensive biochemical reagents.

Since joining Wayne State in 2008, Basu has been developing techniques for performing biological analysis in microdroplets with nanoliter-picoliter volumes 1,000 to 1 million times smaller than conventional technology.

Analyzing small volumes of a substance, or assays, is a growing trend in the modern biotechnology industry because it dramatically reduces the costs of HTS reagents, improves assay speed and enables new capabilities, such as the ability to culture single cells and control their microenvironment.

"Droplet microreactors have a clear economic benefit in high-throughput biology because the smaller your assay volume, the cheaper it's going to be," Basu said. "From a scientific standpoint, microreactors can give us exciting new ways to study biology at really small size scales, comparable to individual cells.

"One of the challenges, though, is how we physically handle these tiny droplets, and monitor what is happening inside them. They're so small you can't use conventional tools, so you need some new technology."

The first project, supported by a $335,000 grant through the NSF's Electronics, Photonics and Magnetic Devices program, will investigate what Basu calls a novel approach for controlling the motion of droplets using lasers. Titled "Optofluidic Tweezers" (OFT), the project focuses on a technique that can generate forces 100,000 times larger than traditional optical tweezers. The technology, recently patented by Wayne State's Technology Commercialization Office, enables novel applications in microscale liquid control, particle manipulation and light-directed assembly.

OFT uses Marangoni flow, a surface tension-driven phenomenon that becomes more powerful at a small scale.

Basu uses the Marangoni effect to grab a droplet on the axis of a focused laser, resulting in a class of optical tweezers that can trap and manipulate liquid droplets with large force. By scanning the laser in two dimensions, he can move droplets as needed for liquid handling.

The second project, "Tensiophoresis: Label Free Droplet Sorting in Surfactant Microgradients," funded by a $301,000 grant, is jointly supported by NSF programs in Particulate and Multiphase Processes and Chemical and Biological Separations.

A key operation in droplet assays is the ability to detect chemicals in droplets. Tensiophoresis uses the phenomenon of capillary migration to sort droplets based on their chemical composition, without the fluorescent labels typically required in such assays.

In tensiophoresis, a droplet is placed in a small channel between two liquid streams with different interfacial tensions (IFT). Capillary migration causes the droplet to swim into one of the two streams, enabling researchers to sense and sort proteins within droplets for proteomic applications.

"The ability to sort droplets by their IFT is particularly interesting, because it is closely linked to the droplets' chemical composition," Basu said. "To our knowledge, this is the first label-free approach for sorting these tiny microreactors based on their biochemical contents. Some of our preliminary data suggests it may be able to detect less than a picomole (10-12 moles) of protein inside the drop."


'/>"/>

Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Wayne State University researchers program targets safer river fishing, anglers health
2. Wayne State researchers working to improve genetic analysis, disorder detection
3. Wayne State receives $2.8 million grant from US Administration for Children and Families
4. New book on physics principles by Wayne State professor explains life as we know it
5. High-strength material advancements at Wayne State University may lead to new, life-saving steel
6. Cancer risk for African-American women with benign breast disease factors Wayne State finds
7. Marshall University study may lead to new treatments for prostate cancer
8. Interventional radiology: Potential breakthrough to treat mens enlarged prostate
9. Carnegies Greg Asner named Energy/Climate Fellow by US State Department
10. Planet under Pressure conference, London: Final statement
11. Tokai Pharmaceuticals galeterone well-tolerated in patients with advanced prostate cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Wayne State University researcher's techniques enable more, faster testing of biological liquids
(Date:11/14/2016)...  xG Technology, Inc. ("xG" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: ... for use in challenging operating environments, announced its results ... will hold a conference call to discuss these results ... (details below). Key Recent Accomplishments ... agreement to acquire Vislink Communication Systems. The purchase is ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016   Acuant , ... verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous ... that add functional enhancements to existing physical ... and venues with an automated ID verification ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 2016 The global ... reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according to ... Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial buildings, ... drive the market growth.      (Logo: ... development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric authentication ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... business of innovation is taking over sports. On Thursday, December 15th a panel ... technology is disrupting the playing field at a Smart Talk session. Smart Talk ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The ability ... optogenetics — is key to exciting advances in the study and mapping of ... projected via free-space optics stimulates small, transparent organisms and excites neurons within superficial ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... KBioBox llc announced today the ... KbioBox developed a sophisticated “3 click” gene dditing off target analysis program and ... website, https://www.kbiobox.com/ and powered by the company’s proprietary BioEngine. Scientists, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... N.J. , Dec. 8, 2016 Soligenix, ... biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to ... need, announced today that it will be hosting an ... am ET on the origins of innate defense regulators ... a review of oral mucositis and the recently announced ...
Breaking Biology Technology: