MIE Distinguished Seminar Series: Deformability based Cell Sorting using Microfluidic Ratchets

Date(s) - 27/10/2017






Speaker: Hongshen Ma
Affiliation: University of British Columbia
Location: MC 102
Date and time: October 27, 2017, 2-3 PM


The reversibility of low-Reynolds number flow presents a fundamental challenge for cell sorting where discriminating properties must be translated into forces that act against the overwhelming viscous forces of the carrier fluid. To overcome this problem, we developed the microfluidic ratchet mechanism to selectively transport cells in a rectified manner from an oscillatory flow of the carrier fluid. This transport depends on cell deformability, and thus enables deformability based cell separation. The oscillatory flow prevents clogging to enable robust processing of high-density cell samples, such as whole blood. I will present the principles of this mechanism, related mechanisms for measuring cell deformability, and applications in circulating tumor cells and antimalarial drug discovery

Speaker biosketch

Hongshen Ma received his bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2001. He received his master’s degree from the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2004, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at MIT in 2007. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Mechanical Engineering at MIT from 2007 to 2008.

Hongshen Ma is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC. His research focuses on the development of microfluidic technology used to sort and to analyze cells with application in cancer, immunology, and infectious diseases. His research is funded through grants from NSERC, CIHR, CFI, Genome BC, Prostate Cancer Canada, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and Burroughs-Wellcome Fund.