Graduate Training in Neuroscience
University of Washington
Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering
Our laboratory's mission is to develop miniature cell culture tools for quantitative neurobiology studies. In particular, we apply microfabrication techniques and nanotechnology to quantitatively design the microfluidic environment and/or the underlying substrate of cultured cells under large numbers of conditions. By using computer-controlled microvalves integrated in microfluidic channels, we are able to control spatiotemporal concentration gradients of multiple factors around nerve cells in a combinatorial manner. We apply this in-vitro methodology to address central neuroscience questions such as synaptogenesis (muscle cell lines), axon guidance (primary cortical and dorsal root ganglia neurons), and olfaction (primary olfactory sensory neurons), as well as for studies of cell migration (primary neutrophils and fibroblast cell lines). We have also developed microfluidic patch clamp chips for recording the electrophysiological activity of suspension cell lines such as rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells.