Advanced microfluidic assays for study of cancer metastasis
Dr. Zongbin Liu
Houston Methodist Research institute
Dr. Zongbin Liu received his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2010. He then worked as a postdoc fellow at Houston Methodist Research institute. Dr. Liu’s current research interests are: circulating tumor cells’ isolation and analysis, microfluidic mechanical analysis of cancer cells, and commercialization of microfluidic techniques.
Metastasis involves the phenotype transition of cancer cells to gain invasiveness, the migration at tumor site, and the dissemination in circulatory system. Unique microfluidic tools are developed to study the effect of cell mechanics and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interaction on metastasis. Gene editing techniques or gene silencing techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9 and siRNA knockdown, can be combined with microfluidic techniques to study the impact of specific genes on cancer cell migration. It is challenging to isolate circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Several microfluidic tools are developed to achieve high efficiency capture of CTCs. These microfluidic tools cannot only be used for study of cell function, but also show great translational potential in clinical.
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