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:12/19/2016)... BARCELONA , España y TORONTO , 19 ... fusión con Northern Biologics Inc. que permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de ... ensayos clínicos en varios tipos de tumor en 2017, con múltiples ... ... de su clase con objetivo en el factor inhibidor de leucemia ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... Dec 16, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle ... at a CAGR of 14.06% from 2016 to 2021. The market ... projected to reach 854.8 Million by 2021. The growth of the ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , December 15, 2016 Arvato ... an agreement with NuData Security, an award-winning international ... will enable clients to focus on good customer experience, balancing ... regulation. ... In order to provide a one-stop fraud prevention suite, Arvato ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... Jan. 20, 2017 Interpace Diagnostics Group, ... that provides clinically useful molecular diagnostic tests and ... into a securities purchase agreement with three  institutional ... of common stock in a registered direct offering.  ... agreed to sell to the same investors warrants ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 Stock-Callers.com ... conditions have influenced the most recent performances of select ... (NASDAQ: RGLS ), Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... TBPH ), and Sage Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... by Grand View Research, global Biotech market size is expected to ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Research Future has a half cooked research report on Global Liquid ... and expected to reach USD 450 Million by the end of ... ... assessed as a swiftly growing market and expected that the market ... There has been a tremendous growth in the prevalence of cancer ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... November Research Group, ... biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to announce the worldwide ... email client designed to provide product vigilance departments with the flexibility and ease ...
Breaking Biology Technology: