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  • 3-Dimensional Assays: What Must Be Done for Setting Up and Validating for Downstream Microplate Reader and Imaging Applications

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 09/26/2017

    Today’s webinar will focus on the cellular microenvironment and its importance when developing and screening cell-based assays using primary, stem cell, and immortalized cultures in 3D systems.

    This webinar is OPEN to both SLAS members and non-members. 

    Mammalian cell culture has long been an invaluable tool in cell biology, drug discovery, and regenerative medicine. Advances in our understanding of cell physiology and failures in clinical trials have provided the impetus to move away from our standard 2-dimensional (2D) systems to a more in-vivo-like or 3-dimensional (3D) environment. The advance of new technologies and screening methodologies have allowed scientists to assess more realistic cellular functionality. Today’s webinar will focus on the cellular microenvironment and its importance when developing and screening cell-based assays using primary, stem cell, and immortalized cultures in 3D systems.

    Bradley R. Larson

    Principal Scientist, BioTek Instruments, Inc

    Brad is a Principal Scientist at BioTek Instruments, INC., where he has worked since 2009. Prior to joining BioTek, he acquired extensive experience while employed in various capacities with multiple reagent providers. Brad’s current roles include optimizing new assay processes on BioTek’s line of automation, liquid handling, microplate detection, and imaging instrumentation. He has worked for more than 20 years with numerous automation and detection platforms, as well as a variety of cell models, to optimize 2D and 3D cell culture assays across multiple research fields. His current work has led to publications in Assay and Drug Development Technologies, The Journal of Laboratory Automation, The Journal of Biomolecular Screening, and Combinatorial Chemistry and High Throughput Screening, among others. Brad has additionally presented his work at numerous conferences across the United States, Europe, and Asia. 

    Mark Rothenberg, Ph.D.

    Manager Scientific Training and Education, Corning Incorporated, Life Sciences

    Dr. Rothenberg graduated from Emory University with his PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology. Over the past 25 years Mark has held positions in both Academia and industry where he has developed an expertise in the areas of assay development, cell culture and cell culture scale-up.  Prior to his current position as Manager Scientific Training and Education he worked and managed the applications team.

    SLAS Discovery

    June 2017 special issue on 3D Cell Culture, Screening and Optimization (Free online access to select articles in this issue is sponsored by Corning Life Sciences)

    • Three-Dimensional Cell Culture: A Rapidly Emerging Approach to Cellular Science and   Drug Discovery
      Three-Dimensional Cell Cultures in Drug Discovery and Development 
    • 3D Models of the NCI60 Cell Lines for Screening Oncology Compounds 
    • Isolation and Characterization of a Distinct Subpopulation from the WM115 Cell Line That Resembles In Vitro Properties of Melanoma Cancer Stem Cells 
    • A High-Throughput Screening Model of the Tumor Microenvironment for Ovarian Cancer Cell Growth 
    • Single and Combination Drug Screening with Aqueous Biphasic Tumor Spheroids 
    • A 1536-Well 3D Viability Assay to Assess the Cytotoxic Effect of Drugs on Spheroids 
    • RNAi High-Throughput Screening of Single- and Multi-Cell-Type Tumor Spheroids: A Comprehensive Analysis in Two and Three Dimensions 
    • Exploring Drug Dosing Regimens In Vitro Using Real-Time 3D Spheroid Tumor Growth Assays 
    • A Novel Multiparametric Drug-Scoring Method for High-Throughput Screening of 3D Multicellular Tumor Spheroids Using the Celigo Image Cytometer 
    • A Novel Cellular Spheroid-Based Autophagy Screen Applying Live Fluorescence Microscopy Identifies Nonactin as a Strong Inducer of Autophagosomal Turnover 
    • Screening of Intestinal Crypt Organoids: A Simple Readout for Complex Biology 
    • Bioengineered 3D Glial Cell Culture Systems and Applications for Neurodegeneration and Neuroinflammation 
    • An Optimized 3D Coculture Assay for Preclinical Testing of Pro- and Antiangiogenic Drugs 
    • An Automated Multiplexed Hepatotoxicity and CYP Induction Assay Using HepaRG Cells in 2D and 3D 
    • Study on a 3D Hydrogel-Based Culture Model for Characterizing Growth of Fibroblasts under Viral Infection and Drug Treatment 
    • Soft Hydrogels Featuring In-Depth Surface Density Gradients for the Simple Establishment of 3D Tissue Models for Screening Applications 
    • High-Throughput Clonogenic Analysis of 3D-Cultured Patient-Derived Cells with a Micropillar and Microwell Chip

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  • Modular, Fully-Integrated or Collaborative Automation?

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 05/18/2017

    The establishment of the AstraZeneca-Medical Research Council UK Centre for Lead Discovery has led to revamping our screening infrastructure to embrace next generation HTS automation. This webinar will recap AZ’s experience: reviewing what works, what scientists like and most importantly what best conforms to the demands of the assay. The presenter will also present AZ’s vision for scalable, modular automation that can be efficiently deployed across customer demand. In conclusion the webinar will summarise the project learnings in the areas of collaborative robotics, remote operation and unforeseen benefits.

    The establishment of the AstraZeneca-Medical Research Council UK Centre for Lead Discovery has led to revamping our screening infrastructure to embrace next generation HTS automation.  This webinar will recap AZ’s experience: reviewing what works, what scientists like and most importantly what best conforms to the demands of the assay. The presenter will also present AZ’s vision for scalable, modular automation that can be efficiently deployed across customer demand. In conclusion the webinar will summarise the project learnings in the areas of collaborative robotics, remote operation and unforeseen benefits.

    Mark Wigglesworth

    Lead, AstraZeneca Global High Throughput Screening Centre

    Mark Wigglesworth now leads AstraZeneca’s Global High Throughput Screening Centre having previously work at GlaxoSmithKline on early stage drug discovery, target validation, sample management and screening. He is an active member of the European Laboratory Research and Innovation Group (ELRIG) including co-director responsibility for their Research and Innovation conference. Mark has contributed numerous publications in the field of GPCR pharmacology, hit identification and compound management including editing a book on Management of Biological and Chemical Samples for Screening Applications. Throughout his career he has maintained an active interest in technology and how automation can be utilised in a pharmaceutical environment.

  • Precision Immunology Through Deeper, Single Cell Profiling

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/06/2017

    In this talk, I will discuss my work at the intersection of these three trends, and demonstrate the value of new technologies for comprehensive and complete cellular analysis.

    Three trends have dominated biomedical research over the last decade. The first, the NIH Roadmap's Single Cell Analysis Program, was founded on the principle that cells are extremely heterogenous, and that this heterogeneity is important in health and disease. For this reason, cells must be characterized individually, rather than by insensitive and misleading analysis of bulk cell populations. This trend renewed appreciation for cellular heterogeneity, and incited a revolution of new technologies that could comprehensively analyze single cells (the second trend, deep profiling). Finally, a third biomedical research trend was sparked by President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative, which aims to define genomic and proteomic differences between patient groups, and use this information to inform treatment decisions.

    In this talk, I will discuss my work at the intersection of these three trends, and demonstrate the value of new technologies for comprehensive and complete cellular analysis. I will provide examples of how deep knowledge about immune responses can be attained, using examples drawn from our recent work in HIV vaccine settings, immunotherapy, and fundamental immunology. This talk will highlight our work developing 30 parameter flow cytometry, single cell RNA sequencing, and new bioinformatic tools and include some discussion of how microfluidics and nanotechnologies can fit into a pipeline that includes the above technologies.

    ​Pratip K. Chattopadhyay, Ph.D.

    Precision Medicine Incubator, Vaccine Research Center, NIH

    Bethesda, MD

    Dr. Chattopadhyay is a Johns Hopkins and NIH-trained researcher, with expertise developing single-cell technologies to study cellular immunology.  Specifically, his work involves: 1) development or optimization of new tools for highly multiplexed analysis of single cells, including: 30 parameter flow cytometry, Fluidigm BioMark (single cell analysis of 96 gene transcripts simultaneously), and widely used assays for quantifying antigen-specific cells; 2) studies of the overlap between antigen-specific T-cell traits; 3) application of novel single-cell technologies to identify T-cell profiles that predict disease outcome or vaccine efficacy in infectious disease, cancer, and immunotherapy.  Dr. Chattopadhyay’s papers have been cited 3783 times (h-index = 28), and his work appears on the Faculty of 1000, BioLegend, Invitrogen, and BD BioSciences websites.  He has been recognized with NIH Special Service and Merit Awards, as a Visiting Professor (Duke University Center for AIDS Research), and as an International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry Scholar. 



  • Case-study in consortium-based drug discovery: allosteric inhibition of the AAA ATPase p97

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/06/2017

    There has been a significant effort over the past decade to bring drug discovery to academia, but this comes with many challenges to balance the potential advantages. In academia, the focus on innovative technologies and novel biological targets encourages us to work on difficult or commercially underpowered problems in healthcare, but how do we develop a strong team with diverse expertise from relatively small and loosely affiliated academic labs?

    There has been a significant effort over the past decade to bring drug discovery to academia, but this comes with many challenges to balance the potential advantages. In academia, the focus on innovative technologies and novel biological targets encourages us to work on difficult or commercially underpowered problems in healthcare, but how do we develop a strong team with diverse expertise from relatively small and loosely affiliated academic labs? At the UCSF Small Molecule Discovery Center, we have taken various approaches to this challenge, including working with drug discovery consortia. The National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Chemical Biology Consortium is a consortium of academic, government, and private-sector laboratories working together to find innovative treatments for cancer. Through this consortium, a team of scientists from Caltech, University of Pittsburg, UCLA, University of Minnesota, SRI International, NCI, and UCSF have developed novel inhibitors of the AAA ATPase p97, an exciting, emerging target in cancer. p97 is a master regulator of protein homeostasis, and modulates ubiquitin-dependent degradation as well as membrane fusion activities throughout the cell. These events are directed by a network of protein-protein interactions and ATPase-dependent changes in p97 conformation. The team has designed allosteric and PPI modulators for different aspects of this complex machine and has solved the first high-resolution structures of p97 bound to an inhibitor using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). We see cryo-EM as a cutting edge technology for structure-guided design in drug discovery. By comparing inhibitors of p97 that act through different mechanisms, we aim to develop new experimental therapeutics and to decipher the complex biological pathways regulated by p97 activity.

    Dr. Michelle Arkin

    Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Director, Biology, Small Molecule Discovery Center

    University of California, San Francisco, CA

    Michelle Arkin is an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and the Director of Biology at the Small Molecule Discovery Center at UCSF. The Small Molecule Discovery Center is a research ‘colaboratory’ that works with academic and biotech investigators to develop small-molecule probes and drug leads. Michelle’s research is focused on structure/function and chemical biology of allosterically regulated enzymes and protein-protein interactions (PPI). Her lab also has a strong interest in developing probes and drug leads to address mechanisms of neurodegeneration, cancer, and parasitic disease. Michelle is involved in academic drug discovery as an investigator in the NCI’s Chemical Biology Consortium and the Tau Consortium, an editor of the NIH’s Assay Guidance Manual, and a board member of the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium.


  • High throughput acoustic mass spectrometry: Development and delivery of a biochemical screen

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/06/2017

    In the two years since receiving the 2015 SLAS Innovation Award, our acoustic mass spectrometry project has made significant progress towards a commercial instrument.

    In the two years since receiving the 2015 SLAS Innovation Award, our acoustic mass spectrometry project has made significant progress towards a commercial instrument. To deliver high throughput screening capability, we use a modified Echo acoustic dispenser to eject and electrically charge a droplet mist directly from an assay plate into a Waters mass spectrometer via a custom transfer interface. This Echo-MS system can run at sampling speeds of 3 samples per second and allows for label-free, high throughput screening (HTS) of biochemical assays.
    Elimination of the liquid chromatographic (LC) separation step allows our system to run at true high throughput speeds. Optimization and redesign of sample buffers improves sensitivity and minimizes ion suppression while maintaining biological activity. We have demonstrated this by modifying several traditional labelled assays to run on the Echo-MS and will share two examples where kinase assays have been successfully converted to an Echo-MS end point.
    We demonstrate the ability to deliver true HTS by using the Echo-MS to develop and screen compounds to identify inhibitors of glutathione reductase. Both substrate and product readily ionise and therefore we were able to run the Echo-MS in kinetic mode to rapidly optimize the assay conditions, reducing the time required to days. For HTS, the assay was run in batch mode using a formic acid stop reagent. The Echo-MS system was able to screen around 300,000 samples from our collection. Despite manually processing plates through the detector, we were still able to achieve a cycle time for each plate around 6 minutes. Testing at scale not only enabled us to demonstrate the robustness of the hardware but also integrate the output with corporate data analysis tools. Typical Z' values of 0.6 were achieved and less than 0.2% of wells failed to generate data. All actives were confirmed using traditional LCMS.
    In summary, we have demonstrated the robustness and the utility of the Echo-MS by screening a pharmaceutically relevant target at sampling rates that support HTS. In addition we utilised the system to reduce assay development timelines and, following the screen, confirm the mechanism of action (MOA) of the hits. The ability to operate the system unattended is clearly necessary to support HTS long term so we have integrated the Echo-MS with simple robotic automation, giving us up to 12 hours of walk-away operation.

    Dr. Jonathan Wingfield

    Principal Scientist, AstraZeneca, Discovery Sciences

    Since joining AstraZeneca’s Oncology department in 2000, Dr. Jonathan Wingfield has worked to build secondary screening capabilities within AZ. He has focused on landing new technologies and deploying these across the business. During the mid 2000’s he built a team to streamline structure activity relationship screening and used technologies to improve efficiency and data quality. One such technology was acoustic dispensing. In 2008, Jonathan’s team received the Microsoft Innovation in Pharma award for deployment of a LIMS to support SAR screening. When the Discovery Sciences function was established within AZ, he moved into a science role supporting across a wider range of functions beyond biochemical SAR. He is currently working on the development of acoustic Mass Spectrometry, a project that won the 2015 SLAS Innovation Award.  

  • Vortex Biosciences Technology for Fast and Label-Free Isolation of Circulating Tumor Cells from Blood Samples

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/06/2017

    Ultimately, liquid biopsies may allow earlier detection and more personalized treatment of cancer.

    Current tumor tissue biopsies are invasive procedures that can be limited by small sample size and difficulty accessing the tumor site. Moreover, single-site tumor biopsies may not recapitulate intra-tumor heterogeneity and may fail to reflect the genetic diversity of a patient. These limitations can be overcome with a liquid biopsy. Liquid biopsies are non-invasive blood tests that aim to isolate and analyze circulating tumor cells and/or cell-free DNA that are continuously shed into the bloodstream by both primary and metastatic lesions. Liquid biopsies are readily amenable to serial sampling and could provide real-time and more representative information on tumor evolution, treatment effectiveness and cancer metastatic risks. Ultimately, liquid biopsies may allow earlier detection and more personalized treatment of cancer.

    Vortex Biosciences has developed VTX-1, a fast and simple platform to isolate and collect intact circulating tumor cells (CTCs) directly from whole blood in less than 1.5 hours. Based on inertial microfluidics and capture in microscale vortices, our CTC isolation process is label-free, contact-free, and high-throughput, providing intact CTCs that can be collected in suspension within various containers. Besides, samples processed by the Vortex VTX-1 system have minimal white blood cell contamination, resulting in a highly enriched CTC sample. In preliminary clinical studies, CTCs were isolated with high purity (from 1.4 to 92.5 WBCs per mL blood) from patients with metastatic breast (median 40.68 CTCs per 7.5mL; n=22), colorectal (median 12.23 CTCs per 7.5 mL, n=41), non-small cell lung (NSCLC) (median 26.25 CTCs per 7.5 mL, n=15), and prostate (median 5.63 CTCs per 7.5mL, n=20) cancers.

    This CTC technology offers significant advantages for downstream analysis: (i) Isolated CTCs are representative of the patient's status and remain unbiased by molecular characteristics, as confirmed by immunofluorescence staining and enumeration. (ii) CTCs collected at higher purity increase the accuracy and sensitivity of downstream assays, such as cytology, next-generation sequencing and Sanger sequencing. For example, using Papanicoalou staining, atypical cells were detected in 15 out of 16 NSCLC samples, with morphological similarities observed in corresponding primary tumor. In another study, KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA mutations were detected by Sanger sequencing, revealing concordance between CTCs and liver metastasis for 7 out of 9 colorectal cancer patients. (iii) CTCs are unaltered and undamaged by labels or reagents, making them ideal for cell culture experiments and live cell assays, such as CDX model, RNA sequencing, or protein assays (western-blot, Epispot assay). Several case studies with patient samples of metastatic breast, lung, colon and prostate cancer will be presented to illustrate these advantages of the system.

    Elodie Sollier-Christen, Ph.D

    Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Vortex Biosciences, Inc. (USA)

    Menlo Park, CA.

    Elodie is Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President Research & Development for Vortex Biosciences, heading the scientific initiatives for the commercialization of the VTX-1 Liquid Biopsy System. The VTX-1 automates the isolation of circulating tumor cells directly from cancer patient blood samples. Elodie received a Physics Engineering Degree from Grenoble Institute of Technology and a PhD in Physics for Life Science from CEA LETI Minatec at Grenoble, France. Her PhD was followed by post-doctoral research in Bioengineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, with Professor Dino Di Carlo. Her work resulted in the publication of articles in peer-reviewed journals, review papers, presentations in international conferences, and several patents including technologies from UCLA licensed to Vortex Biosciences.


  • HTS Tumor: Stroma Co-Culture Spheroid Platform Reveals CAF-Specific Chemotherapeutic Targets

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/06/2017

    This work may hopefully expand the target space of chemotherapeutics to include cancer cell extrinsic targets that modify the tumor microenvironment to alleviate disease.

    It has been observed that targeting the mutated drivers of cancer cells may not be sufficient to kill tumors. Indeed, recent evidence points to the stromal microenvironment of solid organ tumors as the dominating influence in tumor progression, metastasis and drug resistance, indicating that environment may be dominant to the intrinsic altered signaling pathways of cancer cells. In order to expand these concepts to early stage drug discovery initiatives we have scrutinized the interactions between normal colon stroma and colorectal carcinoma (CRC) cells in a high content co-culture 3D microtumor spheroid screen. Systematic knockdown of genes within normal colon fibroblasts resulted in the inability of seeded CRC cells to form 3D tumor spheroids. Employing this multicellular spheroid platform in a genomics-based approach enabled the identification of novel candidate stromal genes crucial for paracrine signaling and tumor initiation/maintenance. Furthermore, low molecular weight inhibitors against lead hit targets recapitulated the genomics data indicating certain fibroblast-dispensable targets are amenable to therapeutic intervention. This work may hopefully expand the target space of chemotherapeutics to include cancer cell extrinsic targets that modify the tumor microenvironment to alleviate disease.
  • Droplet microfluidic 3D tumor models for cancer screening

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/06/2017

    Here we describe a robust, Microfluidic technique to generate 3D tumors, which resembles tumor microenvironment and can be used as a more effective preclinical drug testing and screening model.

    One of the widely used cancer models today to evaluate the efficacy of drugs at preclinical stage, 2D monolayers, fail to mimic the in-vivo human tumor biology and do not consider the effect of tumor microenvironment when testing therapeutic efficacy of new drug candidates. As a result, 90% of the promising preclinical drugs fail to transform into efficacious treatment options. Also, the 3D spheroids systems cited in literature, are loose aggregates of cells without an extracellular matrix. Here we describe a robust, Microfluidic technique to generate 3D tumors, which resembles tumor microenvironment and can be used as a more effective preclinical drug testing and screening model. Monodisperse cell-laden alginate droplets were generated in Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic devices that combine T-junction droplet generation and external gelation for spheroid formation. The proposed approach has the capability to incorporate multiple cell types. For the purposes of the preliminary studies, we generated spheroids with breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7 drug sensitive and resistant) and co-culture spheroids of MCF-7 together with a fibroblast cell line (HS-5). The device has the capability to house 1000 spheroids on chip for drug screening and other functional analysis. Cellular viability of spheroids in the array part of the device was maintained for two weeks by continuous perfusion of complete media into the device. The functional performance of our 3D tumor models and a dose dependent response of standard chemotherapeutic drug, Doxorubicin (Dox) and standard drug combination Dox and Paclitaxel (PCT) was analyzed on our chip-based platform. Currently, we are developing spheroid models to monitor pathophysiological gradients which are generally seen in larger tumors. Additionally, we have generated immunogenic tumor models which are currently being used to dynamically evaluate the effect of the immune cells in the tumor microenvironment during chemotherapy administration. Altogether, our work provides a simple, novel and high-throughput in vitro platform to generate, image and analyze 3D monodisperse Alginate hydrogel tumors for various Omic studies and therapeutic efficiency screening, an important translational step before in vivo studies.

    Pooja Sabhachandani

    Doctoral Student, Northeastern University

    Boston, MA

    Pooja obtained her B.S in pharmacy from India and Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Northeastern University (NEU). During her masters, she worked as a Research Student in at the Center of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Nanomedicine (CPBN). As a Doctoral student in the Konry Lab, she works on analysis of cancer therapeutics and cancer immune interactions on single cell and multicellular level utilizing Microfluidic Platforms.


  • Emerging Fluorescence Technology to Study the Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Organelles within Cells

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/06/2017

    This presentation will discuss new imaging methods that can overcome these roadblocks, focusing on their potential for clarifying subcellular organelle dynamics.

    Emerging visualization technologies are playing an increasingly important role in the study of numerous aspects of cell biology, capturing processes at the level of whole organisms down to single molecules. While developments in probes and microscopes are dramatically expanding the areas of productive imaging, there are still significant roadblocks. This presentation will discuss new imaging methods that can overcome these roadblocks, focusing on their potential for clarifying subcellular organelle dynamics.

    Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz

    Group Leader, Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus

    Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz is Group Leader, Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus. She received her BA from Swarthmore College, MS in Biology from Stanford University and PhD in Biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins University. Her research uses live cell imaging approaches to analyze the spatio-temporal behavior and dynamic interactions of molecules and organelles in cells. Her group has pioneered the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) technology for quantitative analysis and modeling of intracellular protein traffic and organelle biogenesis in live cells and embryos, providing novel insights into cell compartmentalization, protein trafficking and organelle inheritance. Most recently, her research has focused on the development and use of photoactivatable fluorescent proteins, including the development of photoactivated localization microscopy, (i.e., PALM), a superresolution imaging technique that enables visualization of molecule distributions at high density at the nano-scale. Her work has been recognized with election to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Medicine, and with the Royal Microscopy Society Pearse Prize and the Society of Histochemistry Feulgen Prize. She is President of the American Society of Cell Biology for 2014. She serves on the scientific advisory boards of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Weizmann Institute of Sciences, the Searle Scholar Program, and the Salk Institute.

  • Microengineered Culture Platforms for the Control of Cell-Cell Interactions

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 12/08/2016

    ​Cellular organization plays a fundamental role in determining the emergent properties of living tissue. We are building a set of tools for the manipulation of microscale tissue architecture, enabling the study of contact-dependent signaling, paracrine gradients, and cell-specific behavior within mixed cultures.

    Cellular organization plays a fundamental role in determining the emergent properties of living tissue. We are building a set of tools for the manipulation of microscale tissue architecture, enabling the study of contact-dependent signaling, paracrine gradients, and cell-specific behavior within mixed cultures. I will begin by detailing the use of reconfigurable comb substrates to dissect the signaling dynamics that maintain liver phenotype in hepatocyte-fibroblast co-cultures. Next, I will discuss compartmentalized platforms that preserve intercellular communication by short-range paracrine signals or contact-dependent signals, yet still allow rapid separation of co-cultures back into pure populations for cell-specific analysis. Here, we employ microfabricated membranes as well as comb substrates. Applications to tumor-stromal signaling will be considered in addition to liver models. Finally, all of our platforms can be made available to interested researchers, but our latest system has been designed to be particularly cost-effective and easy-to-use. This device can pattern sharp borders between different cell populations, and I will illustrate its use in quantifying cell invasion and border migration in a competitive embryonic stem cell assay.

    Elliot Hui, Ph.D

    Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine.

    Elliot's research group employs tools such as microfabrication, microfluidics, and optogenetics to control biological systems at the micrometer scale. Areas of focus include embryonic development, tissue engineering, and high-throughput biology. He is a recipient of the 2013 DARPA Young Faculty Award and the 2014 JALA Ten Breakthroughs in Innovation. He is a member of the Center for Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics, the Center for Complex Biological Systems, and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.