The “Applications of Engineering in Medicine and Biology” Seminar series
Microfluidics exploits the differences between micro- and macro-scale flows, for example, the absence of turbulence, electro-osmotic flow, surface and interfacial effects, capillary forces in order to develop scaled-down biochemical analytical processes. The field also takes advantage of micromachining by integrating micro-sensors, micro-valves, and micro-pumps as well as physical, electrical, and optical detection schemes into microfluidics to develop “lab-on-a-chip” devices. However, the ability to process ‘real world’ bodily fluids and volumes efficiently has been a major challenge since the beginning of the field of microfluidics. This begs the question whether it is possible to take advantage of microfluidic precision without the limitation on throughput required for large-volume processing? We are motivated by a broad range of applications enabled by precise manipulation of extremely large-volumes of complex fluids, especially those bodily fluids containing living cells or bioparticles. This presentation will provide a summary of our efforts in bringing microfluidics to large volumes and complex fluids as well as various applications such as the isolation of extremely rare circulating tumor cells from whole blood.
Toner received BS degree from Istanbul Technical University and MS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both in Mechanical Engineering. Subsequently he completed his PhD degree in Medical Engineering at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in 1989. Currently, he holds the Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He serves as the Director of Research at the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston. Dr. Toner co-established the Center for Engineering in Medicine, and BioMicroElectroMechanical Systems Resource Center (BMRC) at the MGH. His research involves microfluidics, nano- and micro-technologies, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and cryobiology. Dr. Toner is also co-founder of multiple biotechnology and medical device start-ups. Dr. Toner is a member of the Turkish Academy of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine.
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