Chemical Engineering Seminar: Jered Haun (UC Irvine)
Olin Hall 165
Assistant Professor (Joint Appointment)
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
University of California, Irvine
High content molecular analysis of solid tumor tissue at the single cell level using novel micro/nano technologies
The ability to collect exceedingly large amounts of molecular information from solid tumor samples would dramatically impact patient care by improving prognostic accuracy and enabling personalization of treatment strategies. However, these goals are complicated by the fact that tumor microenvironments contain a large number of cell types with varying phenotypes and activation states. Thus, molecular analysis methods must interrogate molecule information from single cells in a quantitative and high throughput manner. The first part of the talk will focus on our efforts to analyze tumor tissue using cell-based methods, such as flow cytometry and single cell RNA sequencing. This requires that tissue samples are first dissociated into single cell suspensions, but current methods involve a series of manual treatments that require lengthy processing times and are inefficient. Our strategy has been to employ microfluidic technologies, which enable fluid shear force to be tuned to the appropriate magnitude and size scale so that tissue can be broken down thoroughly and gently. This has resulted in three distinct device concepts that operate at different stages of the dissociation process: digestion, disaggregation, and filtration. These devices were tested separately using cell line aggregate and tissue models, and each demonstrated advantages in terms of single cell recovery yield and purity, while still maintaining viability. We are currently integrating the devices into a single platform that will dramatically improve the speed and efficiency of tissue dissociation, thereby advancing methods such as single cell RNA sequencing in laboratory and clinical settings. The second part of the talk will focus on our efforts to improve phenotypic analysis of single cells and tissue sections using nanoparticle probes and novel imaging techniques, with specific goals to improve detection sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities.