Chung Lab @ RPI
Research

Microfluidics for Biomedicine

We are primarily focusing on advancing the knowledge in microscale fluid flow required to develop novel integrated micro/nanosystems for biology and medicine.

Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the lab research we have been attracting students and researchers from a variety of backgrounds. Please contact Professor Chung for more details.

Main research Topics

1. Gene Editing and Cancer Immunotherapy via Intracellular Delivery:

The introduction of biomolecules and nanomaterials into cells is a key task for studies ranging from fundamental biology to clinical applications. Our lab aims to develop novel microfluidic intracellular delivery platforms capable of delivering a wide range of nanomaterials into hard-to-transfect primary cells without the aid of carriers or external apparatus. Furthermore, we put our effort to use the platforms in the applications of cancer immunotherapy, regenerative medicine and genome editing.

2. Single-cell Mechanotyping:

Mechanical properties associated with cytoskeletal structures (i.e. cell deformability) have been reported as label-free biomarkers of cell states and properties. We focus to develop real-time, multiplexed, high-throughput (>1K cells/sec) and label-free cell deformability measurement platforms that can be used as a screening and sorting tool to quantitatively measure cell deformaiblity for cancer diagnosis.

3. Optofluidic fabrication:

Inertial flow deformations associated with the flow around sequentially arranged microstructures can create predictable flow patterns. Using this principle, we aim to develop a method termed ‘optofluidic fabrication’ for the generation of complex 3D-shaped polymer particles based on two coupled processes: inertial flow shaping and ultraviolet (UV) light polymerization for applications in bio-micro/nanotechnology e.g. tissue engineering, cell-cell communication study platforms

4. Fudamentals of Inertial Microfluidics:

Inertial microfluidics is a relatively new field of study which involves behaviors and properties of the interactions between fluids with particles and/or fluids with structures where both inertia and viscosity become important (between Stokes and inviscid flow). In traditional microfluidics, inertia has been ignored since the associated Reynolds number (Re = ρULc /µ: a dimensionless parameter describing the ratio of inertial and viscous forces, where ρ is the fluid density, U is the flow velocity, Lc is the characteristic length of the channel and µ is the fluid viscosity) is close to zero due to the channel scale and low flow velocity. However, the Reynolds number can easily hit a non-zero value under many circumstances in microfluidic system implying non-zero fluid inertia. In microchannel, two major inertial effects (1) inertial particle migration and (2) geometry-induced secondary flows can be clearly found and we investigate fundamentals of inertial effects.