Breakfast Club Seminar Series

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"Stiffness Variation in Human Cells and High-throughput Methods to Separate by Stiffness"

Todd Sulchek, PhD - Assistant Professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering  

The biophysical properties of human cells may vary with different cell types or may vary within a single cell type due to disease. We will discuss how the variation of cell stiffness relates to diseases such as cancer. We will also discuss microfluidic techniques that can continuously separate individual cells based upon variation in cell stiffness. The microfluidic channel we highlight is decorated by periodic diagonal ridges which force cells of different stiffness values to follow different trajectories. We demonstrate stiffness dependent separation using lymphoblastic and epithelial cell lines. By flowing these cells through the microfluidic device, we can quickly and efficiently separate mixtures into subpopulations of stiff cells and soft cells. We will then summarize how we expect this technology may produce new biomedical diagnostic capabilities.

The IBB Breakfast Club seminar series was started with the spirit of the Institute's interdisciplinary mission in mind. The goal of the seminar series is to highlight research taking place throughout the institute to enable the IBB community to further collaborative opportunities and interdisciplinary research. Faculty are often asked to speak at other universities and conferences, but rarely present at their home institution, this seminar series is an attempt to close that gap. The IBB Breakfast Club is open to anyone in the bio-community. 


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Colly Mitchell
  • Created:11/17/2011
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016