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Author: Philip C Samson (10)


Dec
2016

Understanding blood-brain barrier responses to inflammatory stimulation (such as lipopolysaccharide mimicking a systemic infection or a cytokine cocktail that could be the result of local or systemic inflammation) is essential to understanding the effect of inflammatory stimulation on the brain. It is through the filter of the blood-brain barrier that the brain responds to outside influences, and the blood-brain barrier is a critical point of failure in neuroinflammation. It is important to note that this interaction is not a static response, but one that evolves over time.

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Jan
2017

Engineered 3D cardiac tissue constructs (ECTCs) can replicate complex cardiac physiology under normal and pathological conditions. Currently, most measurements of ECTC contractility are either made isometrically, with fixed length and without control of the applied force, or auxotonically against a variable force, with the length changing during the contraction. The "I-Wire" platform addresses the unmet need to control the force applied to ECTCs while interrogating their passive and active mechanical and electrical characteristics.

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Sep
2015

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a critical structure that serves as the gatekeeper between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. It is the responsibility of the BBB to facilitate the entry of required nutrients into the brain and to exclude potentially harmful compounds; however, this complex structure has remained difficult to model faithfully in vitro. Accurate in vitro models are necessary for understanding how the BBB forms and functions, as well as for evaluating drug and toxin penetration across the barrier.

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Jun
2013

Bacterial biofilms are a metabolically heterogeneous community of bacteria distributed in an extracellular matrix comprised primarily of hydrated polysaccharides. Effective inhibitory concentrations measured under planktonic conditions are not applicable to biofilms, and inhibition concentrations measured for biofilms vary widely. Here, we introduce a novel microfluidic approach for screening respiration inhibition of bacteria in a biofilm array morphology.

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Mar
2013

The sophistication and success of recently reported microfabricated organs-on-chips and human organ constructs have made it possible to design scaled and interconnected organ systems that may significantly augment the current drug development pipeline and lead to advances in systems biology. Physiologically realistic live microHuman (μHu) and milliHuman (mHu) systems operating for weeks to months present exciting and important engineering challenges such as determining the appropriate size for each organ to ensure appropriate relative organ functional activity, achieving appropriate cell density, providing the requisite universal perfusion media, sensing the breadth of physiological responses, and maintaining stable control of the entire system, while maintaining fluid scaling that consists of ~5 mL for the mHu and ~5 μL for the μHu. We believe that successful mHu and μHu systems for drug development and systems biology will require low-volume microdevices that support chemical signaling, microfabricated pumps, valves and microformulators, automated optical microscopy, electrochemical sensors for rapid metabolic assessment, ion mobility-mass spectrometry for real-time molecular analysis, advanced bioinformatics, and machine learning algorithms for automated model inference and integrated electronic control.

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Nov
2012

We have developed a novel, portable, gravity-fed, microfluidics-based platform suitable for optical interrogation of long-term organotypic cell culture. This system is designed to provide convenient control of cell maintenance, nutrients, and experimental reagent delivery to tissue-like cell densities housed in a transparent, low-volume microenvironment. To demonstrate the ability of our Thick-Tissue Bioreactor (TTB) to provide stable, long-term maintenance of high-density cellular arrays, we observed the morphogenic growth of human mammary epithelial cell lines, MCF-10A and their invasive variants, cultured under three-dimensional (3D) conditions inside our system.

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Apr
2011

We report the observation of broad-spectrum fluorescence from single CdSe nanocrystals. Individual semiconductor nanocrystals typically have a narrower emission spectrum than that of an ensemble. However, our experiments show that the ensemble white-light emission observed in ultrasmall CdSe nanocrystals is the result of many single CdSe nanocrystals, each emitting over the entire visible spectrum.

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Nov
2010

Cells sense and interpret chemical gradients, and respond by localized responses that lead to directed migration. An open microfluidic device (OMD) was developed to provide quantitative information on both the gradient and morphological changes that occurred as cells crawled through various microfabricated channels. This device overcame problems that many current devices have been plagued with, such as complicated cell loading, media evaporation and channel blockage by air bubbles.

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May
2010

Microbial growth and transport in porous media have important implications for the quality of groundwater and surface water, the recycling of nutrients in the environment, as well as directly for the transmission of pathogens to drinking water supplies. Natural porous media is composed of an intricate physical topology, varied surface chemistries, dynamic gradients of nutrients and electron acceptors, and a patchy distribution of microbes. These features vary substantially over a length scale of microns, making the results of macro-scale investigations of microbial transport difficult to interpret, and the validation of mechanistic models challenging.

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Feb
2010

We describe a simple and reliable fabrication method for producing multiple, manually activated microfluidic control valves in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) devices. These screwdriver-actuated valves reside directly on the microfluidic chip and can provide both simple on/off operation as well as graded control of fluid flow. The fabrication procedure can be easily implemented in any soft lithography lab and requires only two specialized tools-a hot-glue gun and a machined brass mold.

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