Advisor: Gilda A. Barabino, Ph.D. (City College of NY, Georgia Institute of Technology (adjunct))
Cyrus K. Aidun, Ph.D. (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Edward A. Botchwey, Ph.D. (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Wilbur A. Lam, Ph.D. (Georgia Institute of Technology)
J. Brandon Dixon, Ph.D. (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Novel Prognostic Microfluidic Systems for Blood Cell Separation
Blood, one of the most important fluid in human body, contains myriad of information about body functioning because of its spread throughout the whole body. This why, blood analysis has been a primary diagnostic test in our health care system. Cells being one of the major constituents of blood, are often the target of different diseases – expression of different bio-markers and bio-mechanical properties (stiffness, shape, size) change. Separation and analysis of these cellular components are likely to lead to prognostically validated biomarkers and strategies of treatment.
Objective of this research is to develop a microfluidic platform based blood cell separation device, which will separate sub-populations of Red Blood Cells from whole blood sample of Sickle Cell Disease patients based on cell stiffness and morphology. The device will require minimal amount of patient blood sample, will pose no additional non-physiological force on the cells that can trigger expression of additional biomarkers overpowering the original ones activated by the disease, will exploit a new aspect of fluid physics that is much observed but not well understood and, will be high-throughput but inexpensive. Such a device will eventually lead to the development of a Point-of-care testing blood analysis kit.