Mechanobiology and Systems Biology: Hierarchical fluid-structure interaction

Many biological tissues and biomaterials have a hierarchical porous structure saturated with fluids. The extracellular matrix (ECM) has a fibrous collagen porous structure filled with interstitial fluid, and the cytoplasm (i.e., intracellular substance excluding sub-cellular organelles) has a fibrous cytoskeleton porous structure filled with cytosol (i.e., viscous fluid). The ECM is connected to the cytoplasm through a complex of proteins on the cell membrane. We are interested in establishing quantitative understanding of fluid-structure interactions associated with various physiological processes including cell morphogenesis, migration, and matrix remodeling.

Complex Transport Processes around Tumors

The efficacy of many potent anti-cancer drugs is significantly limited due to the drug resistance of tumor at both cellular and tissue levels. The tissue-level resistance is caused by physiological barriers impairing drug transport including high collagen content and elevated interstitial fluid pressure. The cell-level resistance results from the activity of protein transporters exuding drugs to the extracellular space. We are characterizing the drug transport within the interstitial space and across the cellular membrane to enhance the transport.

Quantitative Optical Diagnostics for Biomedical Imaging

As thermal therpies are frequently employed for management of tumors in various organs, there are growing demands for reliable and accurate intraoperative monitoring techniques for the thermal lesion. However, current monitoring techniques have limited accuracy, accessibiliy and/or are not capable of monitoring the thermal lesion in real-time during the procedure. Thus, we are developing a new noninvasive thermometry technique using temperature dependent fluroescence of quantum dots.


High-throughput screening of cryoprotectant using EWOD digital microfluidics

Cryoinjury enhancement using amino acidic adjuvant

Computer-aided patient-specific cryosurgery planning

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