Engineering small devices for a big impact on health
Here at the Living Devices Lab we're literally bringing microchips to life. A major challenge in biomedicine is to develop model systems that accurately reflect human disease - both to understand basic disease mechanisms and to develop new therapies. Luckily, we have some great tools to solve this problem. The same tools that are used to make computer chips also allow us to control biological components (cells, blood, tissue) at the same scale that they occur naturally inside the body. That means we can build microchips that look a lot like the tissue inside your body - in form and function. We can use those chips to understand the function of healthy tissue, and we can also use them to understand how diseases affect tissue function. We’re currently using these microdevices to understand how blood vessels get clogged up in sickle cell disease, how cancer cells move around the body to cause metastasis, and how drugs move through tissues. These models allow us to dig deeper into the basic mechanisms of disease and will hopefully give us the insight to develop new therapies. If our work sounds exciting, check out the Research page for more detailed information on some of our projects. If you want to know who is doing all of this exciting work, check out the People page.