Our laboratory conducts experimental and computational research in biomedical acoustics and biomechanics of circulating cells.
Focused ultrasound can reduce the metastatic potential of cancer cells >>
Our recent in vitro experiments show that the exposure of prostate cancer cells to a combination of ethanol injection and high-intensity focused ultrasound reduces the ability of these cells to adhere to vascular endothelium. This indicates that the cells that survived this combination treatment have a reduced metastatic potential than untreated cells. Now, we are testing whether a reduction in metastatic potential occurs in other cancer cells (liver, breast, kidney cancers) exposed to ethanol and focused ulrasound.
Our acoustic tweezing method is a novel, robust technique for whole blood coagulation monitoring >>
We have recently patented a non-contact method and device for rheological measurements of polymeric and biological fluids, referred to as "acoustic tweezing rheometry" or "acoustic tweezing thromboelastometry". Our first clinical studies clearly show the ability of this technique to detect the onset times for blood coagulation and mature blood clot formation and to measure the clot stiffness for normal blood and blood exposed to pro- and anti-coagulants. We are currently testing this technique on blood from coagulopathic patients.
Tumor spheroids of large size can be grown 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 tumor ablation experiments and testing other therapies for cancer.
Oxidized lipoproteins cause endothelial dysfunction via activation of tissue-resident cells >>
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 cancer metastasis. Our recent data point out an important synergistic role of oxidized lipoprotein-activated macrophages and mast cells in endothelial dysfunction and early atherosclerosis.
VECAM-Active is the first computational algorithm to simulate active migration of motile cells in 3-D >>
We have developed a three-dimensional (3-D) computational algorithm, known as VECAM (ViscoElastic Cell Adhesion Model). VECAM integrates, for the first time, the cell's rheological properties, stochastic receptor-ligand binding, and physiologic shear flow conditions. Recently, this algorithm has been extended (VECAM-Active) to simulate chemoattractant-induced active migration of motile cells in 3-D or on an adhesive 2-D substrate. Using VECAM-Active, we now explore the mechanisms that govern chemotaxis, adhesion, and transendothelial migration of leukocytes and circulating tumor cells, which are key steps of the inflammatory response and cancer metastasis.