"Hybrid Electronic / Microfluidic Chips for Point-of-care Diagnostics"

Dr. David Issadore, MGH Center for Systems Biology

February 10th (Friday), 10:00am
Engineering Science Building (ESB), Rm 2001

The programmability and small feature size of modern electronics can be applied to biomedical applications by combining semiconductor chips with microfluidics and biofunctionalized nanoparticles to form highly functional hybrid chips. Taking inspiration from the integrated circuit (IC) and the enormous effect that it has had on modern electronics, we envision integrated biomedical chips (IBCs) that with a drop of blood can be programmed to run a battery of medical diagnostics at a cost and speed not matched by the manual labs of today.

I will focus mainly on my most recent work at Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts General Hospital, where we developed a hybrid semiconductor / microfluidic chip for the detection of rare cells in unprocessed biological samples. The ongoing challenge with the measurement of rare cells (e.g. cancer cells, stem cells) is that they often go undetected by conventional technologies, because current approaches require extensive sample purification and/or because many types of rare cells have limited half-lives outside of the body. To overcome such problems, we developed a hybrid chip that performs quantitative, rapid cellular profiling of rare cells directly in unprocessed biological samples. Our chip uses an array of microfabricated Hall-effect sensors to measure the magnetic moments of individual immunomagnetically tagged cells. We show that in a small trial of stage 4 ovarian cancer patients, this device was able to detect circulating cancer cells in virtually all patients, even those that tested negative with current clinical standards (the CellSearch system).

About Dr. David Issadore:

David Issadore received his Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University under the guidance of Professor Robert Westervelt in June of 2009. For his Ph.D. degree, Dr. Issadore developed a versatile platform for performing biology and chemistry experiments on a chip using the integrated circuit (IC) technology of the commercial electronics industry. Dr. Issadore joined the Center for Systems Biology at Massachussetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School in August of 2009 under the guidance of Dr. Ralph Weissleder and Dr. Hakho Lee. His research is aimed at developing robust and portable tools for medical diagnostics using hybrid integrated circuit / microfluidic technology.

Hosted by: Professor John Bowers