Discrete Microfluidics for More Efficient Pharmaceutical Compound Testing: Nano Seminar Series

Seminar | February 8 | 2-3 p.m. | 4 LeConte Hall

 Prof. Melinda Simon, San Jose State University, Biomedical Engineering

 Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute

In 2012, the declining efficiency and increasing cost of pharmaceutical research was noted in a phenomenon termed “Eroom’s law”, to distinguish it from the efficiency of “Moore’s law” in transistor development.

Though the reasons for this phenomenon are myriad and varied, the efficiency of drug development and commercialization could be greatly improved by the development of better paradigms for testing of promising pharmaceutical compounds.

Microfluidic devices have demonstrated several advantages that would be useful in this effort. In this talk, I will discuss efforts undertaken by my group in collaboration with others to develop drug testing platforms that increase the relevance of drug testing results, while simultaneously maximizing the throughput to reduce the cost of this work. Specifically, we use picoliter to nanoliter volume droplets to compartmentalize testing and tightly control the cellular microenvironment in conjunction with digital microfluidic devices which allow automated fluid handling and dispensing.

Mindy Simon did her PhD at UC Irvine and postdocs at LLNL and Stanford Medical. Awards include a CIRM fellowship and an IGERT.