Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Differential Inertial Microfluidics: Label-free cell manipulation and functionalization for biomedical research


Dr. SJ. Claire Hur


Rowland Institute at Harvard University


Monday, February 9, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. Minami Yoda


Rapid advances in clinical medicine have revealed formidable obstacles associated with individual variations in treatment responses. The heterogeneity leads to the development of personalized medicine for better therapeutic outcomes, but systematic and quantitative single-cell level analyses are imperative to identify factors contributing to the heterogeneity. My research group develops microfluidic systems that observe and modulate single cell behaviors to yield new insights into these clinical questions. Particularly, we are interested in understanding relationship between physical properties and cellular phenotypes because not only physical properties impact cellular functions but also cellular functions can be regulated and manipulated by physical environmental cues. Differential inertial microfluidic devices are great candidates to study these relationships since one can (i) precisely and distinctively positions cells in flow based on their intrinsic physical properties, and/or (ii) isolate and maintain identical populations of cells in the designated regions in the channel during the courses of cellular function modulating steps. Using softness-dependent distinctive cellular positions in flow, we adapted the system to conduct passive, label-free and continuous cell enrichment based on their physical properties. Moreover, we developed a simple molecular probe delivery system with improved single-cell transfection capability using vortex-generating inertial microfluidics’ ability to contain cells in pre-determined locations and to release on-demand. Collectively, my research group endeavors to develop innovative techniques that have potential for high-throughput target cell detection, cost-effective cell separation, and sequential multimolecular delivery, useful for oncology, immunology, gene therapy and regenerative medicine.


SJ. Claire Hur is currently a junior fellow at Rowland Institute at Harvard. She received her B.S., M.S. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA in 2005, 2007 and 2011, respectively. During her study at UCLA, she has received numerous awards and scholarships, including Edward K. Rice Outstanding Doctoral Student award, HSSEAS academic scholarship, MAE department’s Chevron scholarship and UCLA Dean’s special fellowship. Before joining the Rowland Institute at Harvard University as one of two junior fellows in September 2011 with 5 years of research funding, she has conducted her doctoral work under supervision of professor Di Carlo in Bioengineering department. She co-authored 13 peer-reviewed journals, including three articles featured as journal covers, 32 conference proceedings, 3 US patents, and 2 international patents.


Refreshments will be served.