MIE Distinguished Seminar Series: Utkan Demirci, Stanford University | Assembling 3D tissue constructs using label-free magnetic additive biomanufacturing technologies

Friday, January 25, 2019

Mechanical Engineering Building, MC102
5 King's College Road

This event is open to the public and registration is not required.

Dr. Demirci’s talk will be followed by an informal reception in MC 331.

Micro- and nano-scale technologies can have a significant impact on medicine and biology in the areas of cell manipulation, diagnostics and monitoring. At the convergence of these new technologies and biology, we research for enabling solutions to the real world problems at the clinic. Emerging nano-scale and microfluidic technologies integrated with biology offer innovative possibilities for creating intelligent, mobile medical lab-chip devices that could transform diagnostics and monitoring, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

In this talk, Dr. Demirci will present an overview of his laboratory’s work in these areas focused on applications in magnetic levitation methods for assembling cells and label free sorting of rare cells from whole blood. Cells consist of micro- and nano-scale components and materials that contribute to their fundamental magnetic and density signatures.

Previous studies have claimed that magnetic levitation can only be used to measure density signatures of nonliving materials. Here, we demonstrate that both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells can be levitated and that each cell has a unique levitation profile. Furthermore, our levitation platform uniquely enables ultrasensitive density measurements, imaging, and profiling of cells in real-time at single-cell resolution. This method has broad applications, such as the label-free identification and sorting of CTCs and CTM with broad applications in drug screening in personalized medicine.

Dr. Demirci leads a productive group of ~30 researchers focusing on micro- and nano-scale technologies. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1999 as a James B. Angell Scholar (summa cum laude) from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his M.S. degree in 2001 in Electrical Engineering, M.S. degree in Management Science and Engineering in 2005 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2005, all from Stanford University.

Dr. Demirci creates technologies to manipulate cells to enable solutions for real world problems in medicine including applications in infectious disease and cancer diagnostics, cell encapsulation in nanoliter droplets for cryobiology, and bottom-up tissue engineering. His research interests involve applications of microfluidics, nanoscale technologies and acoustics in medicine, especially: portable, inexpensive, disposable viral load technology platforms for HIV in resource-constrained settings for global health problems; 3-D bioprinting and tissue models including 3-D cancer and neural cultures.

Dr. Demirci has published 120 peer reviewed publications in journals including PNAS, Advanced Materials, Nature Communications, Small, Trends in Biotechnology, over 150 conference abstracts and proceedings, 10 book chapters, and four edited books. His work was highlighted in Wired Magazine, Nature Photonics, Nature Medicine, MIT Technology Review Magazine, Reuters Health News, Science Daily, and Science News.

His scientific work has been recognized by numerous national and international awards including the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, and the IEEE-EMBS Early Career Achievement Award. He was selected as one of the world’s top 35 young innovators under the age of 35 (TR-35) by the MIT Technology Review. In 2004, he led a team that won the Stanford University Entrepreneur’s Challenge and Global Start-up Competition in Singapore. His patents have been translated into multiple start-up companies including DxNOW, Koek Biotech and some the technologies developed in his lab are clinically available across the globe.

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