BioMEMS and Nanoscale Engineering

Affiliated Faculty

Mehmet Toner, PhD
Martin Yarmush, MD, PhD
Ron Tompkins, MD, ScD 
Daniel Irimia, MD, PhD
Shannon Stott, PhD
O. Berk Usta, PhD
Ken Kotz, PhD
Rohit Jindal, PhD

BioMEMs and Nanoscale Engineering

The Center for Engineering in Medicine (CEM) is a leading institution in the fields of BioMEMS and Nanoscale Engineering, credited with many innovative "firsts," and with training a whole generation of young investigators who have initiated their own academic research programs.

Among our notable developments is the “Living Cell Array” (LCA), a powerful real-time gene expression tool consisting of cells expressing GFP reporter genes in a microfluidic format, which allows simultaneous dynamic profiling of transcription factors regulating the inflammatory and other responses.

We have also developed multiple microfluidic technologies for rare cells sorting, on-chip cytometry and cell motility chips with applications in burns and trauma, HIV/AIDS, cancer and global health.

Other major efforts have included unique bone marrow and tumor niche microsystems for analytical and therapeutic applications; various single cell technology formats (e.g. arrays and droplet-based techniques); and several dynamic tissue systems, such as “brain-on-a chip,” “allergy-on-a-chip” and “liver sinusoid-on-a-chip”.

Examples of ongoing projects include:

  • Continuous-flow microfluidic device for real-time detection of cellular secretions
  • Rapid analysis of cell secretions and surface proteins in microdroplets on a single-cell level
  • Microplatforms for studying communication between organotypic brain slices in the context of epilepsy and traumatic brain injury (brain-on-a-chip)
  • Allergy-on-a-chip: a microdevice for assessing chemical sensitization
  • Microfluidic systems for detection of autoantibodies for early diagnosis of diabetes and cancer
  • Liver sinusoid-on-a-chip systems with active zonation and connections to downstream tissues (e.g. kidney)
  • Inertial focusing of bioparticles and cells in micro channels for cell sorting and manipulation
  • Isolation of circulating tumor cells using multi-physics microfluidic approaches
  • Rate circulating progenitor and stem cells in regenerative medicine
  • Microtechnologies to probe into neutrophil chemotaxis
  • Cancer cell motility during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • Turbulent flow regime in microchannel flow

Representative Publications

  1. Seker, Erkin, Jong Hwan Sung, Michael L. Shuler, and Martin L. Yarmush. "Solving medical problems with BioMEMS." Pulse, IEEE 2, no. 6 (2011): 51-59.
  2. Konry, Tania, Shyam Sundhar Bale, Abhinav Bhushan, Keyue Shen, Erkin Seker, Boris Polyak, and Martin Yarmush. "Particles and microfluidics merged: perspectives of highly sensitive diagnostic detection." Microchimica Acta 176, no. 3-4 (2012): 251-269.
  3. Koria, P., Bhushan, A., Irimia, D., and Yarmush, M.L. (2012). “Microfluidic device for examining directional sensing in dendritic cell chemotaxis.” Nano IFE2(02), 1250011.
  4. Konry, Tania, Alexander Golberg, and Martin Yarmush. "Live single cell functional phenotyping in droplet nano-liter reactors." Scientific reports 3 (2013).
  5. Ozkumur, Emre, Ajay M. Shah, Jordan C. Ciciliano, Benjamin L. Emmink, David T. Miyamoto, Elena Brachtel, Min Yu, Pin-I Chen, Bailey Morgan, Julie Trautwein, Anya Kimura, Sadashana Sengupta, Shannon L. Stott, Nezihi Murat Karabacak, Thomas A. Barber, John R. Walsh, Kyle Smith, Philipp S. Spuhler, James P. Sullivan, Richard J. Lee, David T. Ting, Xi Luo, Alice T. Shaw, Adetya Bardia, Lecia V. Sequist, David N. Louis, Shyamala Maheswaran, Ravi Kapur, Daniel A. Haber, and Mehmet Toner. "Inertial focusing for tumor antigen–dependent and–independent sorting of rare circulating tumor cells."Science translational medicine 5, no. 179 (2013): 179ra47-179ra47.
  6. McCarty, William J., O. Berk Usta, Martha Luitje, Shyam Sundhar Bale, Abhinav Bhushan, Manjunath Hegde, Inna Golberg, Rohit Jindal, and Martin L. Yarmush. "A novel ultrathin collagen nanolayer assembly for 3-D microtissue engineering: Layer-by-layer collagen deposition for long-term stable microfluidic hepatocyte culture." Technology 2, no. 01 (2014): 67-74.
  7. Martel, Joseph M., and Mehmet Toner. "Inertial focusing in microfluidics."Annual review of biomedical engineering 16 (2014): 371-396.
  8. Bale, Shyam Sundhar, Gavrielle Price, Monica Casali, Nima Saeidi, Abhinav Bhushan, and Martin L. Yarmush. "A highly sensitive microsphere-based assay for early detection of Type I diabetes." TECHNOLOGY 2, no. 03 (2014): 200-205.
  9. Bale, Shyam Sundhar, Lawrence Vernetti, Nina Senutovitch, Rohit Jindal, Manjunath Hegde, Albert Gough, William J. McCarty, Ahmet Bakan, Abhinav Bhushan, Tong Y Shun, Inna Goldberg, Richard De Biasio, O Berk Usta, D Lansing Taylor, and Martin L Yarmush. "In vitro platforms for evaluating liver toxicity." Experimental biology and medicine 239, no. 9 (2014): 1180-1191.
  10. Bale, Shyam Sundhar, Gautham Vivek Sridharan, Inna Golberg, Ljupcho Prodanov, William J. McCarty, Osman Berk Usta, Rohit Jindal, and Martin L. Yarmush. "A novel low-volume two-chamber microfabricated platform for evaluating drug metabolism and toxicity." Technology (2015): 1-8.
  11. Usta, O. B., W. J. McCarty, S. Bale, M. Hegde, R. Jindal, A. Bhushan, I. Golberg, and M. L. Yarmush. "Microengineered cell and tissue systems for drug screening and toxicology applications: Evolution of in-vitro liver technologies." TECHNOLOGY 3, no. 01 (2015): 1-26.

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