Year of Award:
Molecular & Cellular Analysis Technologies
LEE, PHILIP J
Other PI or Project Leader:
The main objective of this proposal is to develop a microfluidic platform for cancer drug toxicity screening in cultured human cells. While it is believed that improved information on a patient's individual cancer signature can aid diagnosis and treatment, the technology available to validate this claim is currently limiting. The long term goal of this work is to commercialize a microfluidic screening platform to provide a compact, low cost, automated screening system that can be used in the clinical setting. The specific aims of this proposal are to automate a previously developed microfluidic cell culture array and to demonstrate the feasibility and reproducibility of cancer drug toxicity screening in the microfluidic format. The design and fabrication of the addressable 8x3 unit microfluidic array will leverage expertise developed within the company related to soft lithography technology. Automation of fluidic delivery through the array will be accomplished through implementation of novel microfluidic valves controlled with an industrial pneumatic interface. Initial demonstration of cancer cell cytotoxicity will be collected on HeLa cells over 7 days exposure to anticancer drugs such as etoposide. Cell viability as well as apoptosis kinetics (quantified by fluorescence assay) will be collected in the array and experimental robustness determined. Response and statistical uniformity will be compared to the same assay performed in a 96-well plate. The commercialization of the microfluidic platform can improve public health by providing a reliable, cost effective instrument that can be used for personalized cancer diagnosis in the clinical setting. This technology overcomes current limitations by reducing the cost of automated cell analysis through the scalability of microfabrication, and by enabling multiplexed assays on a small amount of patient tissue through reduced sample volume. A similar platform can also be adapted for molecular screening in cancer cell biology and for improved high throughput drug discovery.