MAY 30, 2019 01:30 PM PDT

Hybrid Tissue-Chips: Modeling Drug Delivery and Disease with Novel Microfluidics for Living Tissue

Speakers
  • Assistant Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia
    Biography
      Dr. Rebecca Pompano is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, and a member of the Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research. She completed a BS at the University of Richmond in 2005, a PhD in Chemistry in 2011 at the University of Chicago, and postdoctoral studies in the University of Chicago Department of Surgery. Dr. Pompano's research interests center on developing microfluidic and chemical assays to unravel the complexity of the immune response. She pioneered the development of microfluidic tools to study immunity in living tissue samples, merging the benefits of microfluidic cultures with intact tissue structure. For this work, she was named a Lab on a Chip Emerging Investigator in 2018. She received an Individual Biomedical Research Award from The Hartwell Foundation, the national 2016 Starter Grant Award from the Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh, the 2019 Rising Star award for Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, and an NIH R01 to support her work. In addition to her research, she is active in advocating for continued funding for education and biomedical research on Capitol Hill and for building inclusive environments for STEM research.

    Abstract:

    Tissues in the body are wonderfully organized, with specific arrangements of cells, extracellular matrix, secreted molecules, and fluid flow that synergize that create emergent functions. However, many methods for in vitro cell analysis rely on cell cultures with minimal or no spatial organization, making it difficult to reproduce the dynamics found in vivo.  

    In this talk, I will introduce the features of working with live, intact samples of ex vivo tissue as a system that is complementary to cell culture, particularly when combined with microfluidics to control the tissue microenvironment. I will give examples of cutting edge devices designed to model local molecular movement through tissue and multi-organ interactions, including a brief case study of a microfluidic model of tumor-induced immunosuppression. Together with methods for real-time imaging and analysis, these technologies offer a host of exciting opportunities to model drug delivery and disease. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. What are the benefits and limitations of studying live tissue in a microfluidic device?
    2. How can microfluidics be used to model local drug delivery and multi-tissue communication ex vivo?


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