Research at Chang Lab

Our lab focuses on microfluidic and nanofluidic research coupled with electrokinetics, optics, plasmonics, superparamagnetics and acoustics for biosening applications. We are able to fabricate nanofluidic transistor circuits that exhibit oscillatory, excitatory, inhibitory and hysteretic ion current/voltage features, including memristor logic circuits that allow digital (binary) address of large ionic circuit sensor arrays. We have integrated these ionic and nanofluidic circuits into liquid biopsy platforms that can 1) isolate and sort tumor cells, exosomes, microvesicles, lipoproteins, stress granules and other molecular carriers in the blood or other physiological samples ; 2) lyse the exosomes/lipoproteins and dissociate the protein-RNA complexes to release the RNA/protein biomarkers; 3) isolate the RNAs from inhibitors and concentrate the analyte molecules; and 4) detect and quantify the molecular biomarkers with digital PCR or amplification-free sensors. Optimum integration with an underlying electronic circuit allows us to carry out automated multiplex profiling of a large library of biomarkers with unprecedented selectivity and sensitivity. Along with our medical and biology collaborators, we are validating these platforms for miRNA over-expression in pancreatic, liver, breast, ovarian and lung cancers; for quantifying stress granules and their protein/RNA cargo during cardiomyocyte infarction and ischemia stokes; for antibody selection in immunotherapy by identifying the protein immune check points on the tumor cell exosomes; for monitoring tissue culture morphogenesis etc.

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