Our laboratory develops novel, optimized approaches for treatment and diagnostics of cancer, inflammatory disorders, and cardiovascular disease. Our current research focus is on
We conduct these investigations using endothelium-lined microfluidic systems, advanced medical ultrasound equipment, and state-of-the-art computational models. Our research is interdisciplinary and involves collaboration with scientists, engineers, and clinicians from leading research institutes and hospitals. Our projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, American Heart Association, and international foundations. We invite highly motivated individuals to join the laboratory as undergraduate or graduate researchers. Please contact Prof. Khismatullin for more information.
Cancer ablation with HIFU and ethanol
We conduct in vitro and in vivo experiments to test our novel method for minimally invasive ablative treatment of advanced and refractory tumors. More information about our approach can be found in our paper published in Physics in Medicine and Biology and in a recent article in Tulane New Wave. Our focused ultrasound system is the only system avaialble at Tulane to conduct HIFU ablation studies. In this effort, we collaborate with leading oncologists at Tulane University School of Medicine (Drs. Joseph Buell, Emad Kandil, and Benjamin Lee) and oncologists abroad.
Tumor spheroid culture in PDMS wells
We are applying our patented "PDMS well" method to grow multicellular tumor spheroids with an effective diameter exceeding 2 mm. These large tumor spheroids are used in HIFU ablation experiments and testing other therapies for cancer.
Cell adhesion in endothelium-lined microfluidic channels
Using our endothelium-lined microfluidic channels, we investigate the role of inflammatory mediators produced by tissue resident cells on circulating cell adhesion to vascular or lymphatic endothelium during allergy, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, sickle cell disease, and breast cancer metastasis. Two papers with results of this experimental research were published or accepted for publication in 2012: one reports a synergistic effect of TNF-alpha and histamine on monocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium, and another shows that histamine released during mast cell degranulation may cause or inhibit thrombosis, depending on whether it acts on resting endothelial cells or on cells pre-activated by other inflammatory stimuli.
Modeling leukocyte and cancer cell migration and adhesion
We have developed three-dimensional computational algorithm VECAM (ViscoElastic Cell Adhesion Model) that integrates, for the first time, the cell's rheological properties, stochastic receptor-ligand binding, and physiologic shear flow conditions. More information about VECAM can be found in our paper on leukocyte rolling published in Biophysical Journal. This algorithm is now extended to simulate active migration of cells and cell rolling and adhesion to a compliant substrate, as well as lateral migration of circulating cells in an inertial microfluidic device. The first results of the latter research have been published in International Journal of Multiphase Flow.