B.S. Chemical Engineering,
Oregon State University
M.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
The implementation of microfluidic devices allows us to study how the microenvironment of a cell affects disease initiation, progression, and treatment, as they give us the precise control necessary to manipulate and monitor the cellular environment. One method used to manipulate the microenvironment of the cell is to create a stable chemical gradient within the device and then to monitor the cell's migration in response to the gradient, i.e. chemotaxis. Chemical gradients play a myriad of roles in the body; for example, gradients of stem cell factor (SCF) and stromal-derived-factor-1 (SDF-1) are known to direct hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) migration. Our studies on how these gradients function could provide powerful new insights into HSC homing and engraftment, which could then be applied to improving the success of bone marrow transplantations.