Chemistry Seminar Presented by Prof. Ashleigh Theberge: "Open microfluidic tissue models and methods for at-home blood transcriptomics"

Speaker(s): Prof. Ashleigh Theberge, University of Washington
"Open microfluidic tissue models and methods for at-home blood transcriptomics"

Small molecule and protein signals provide a rich vocabulary for cellular communication. This talk will highlight new enabling methods to study chemical mechanisms underlying disease-spanning methods for in vitro cell culture and human subjects research, where participants collect and stabilize their own blood using our recently developed homeRNA platform. To better understand signaling processes in both normal and disease states, we have developed new open microfluidic platforms that accommodate the culture of multiple cell types in microfabricated compartments while allowing soluble factor signaling between cell types. Our devices are open, pipette accessible, interface with high resolution microscopy, and can be manufactured at scale by injection molding, increasing translation to collaborators in biological and clinical labs without chemistry and engineering expertise. We have also used open microfluidic principles to develop novel strategies to 3D print hydrogels for biological and materials science applications. Finally, this talk will highlight the development of homeRNA, a kit that enables at-home blood collection and RNA stabilization for longitudinal human subjects studies, including ongoing studies investigating the immune response to wildfire smoke exposure, infectious disease, and during treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

To learn more about the Theberge lab and their research, please visit: