Developing Novel Agents to Detect Nanomaterials in Skin
We are developing reagents to detect those particles which might not be observed using common analytical techniques due to tissue autofluorescence and inability to achieve adequate nanoscale resolution. The reagents will function similar to antibodies and their binding will be dictated by NP properties such as size, surface chemistry, agglomeration state and charge, thereby allowing their detection using immunohistochemistry.
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Development of Functional Salivary Gland Microbubble Chip Arrays for High Throughput Drug Discovery
Xerostomia is a condition of dry mouth due to loss of salivary gland function. It can result from autoimmune disease (Sjogren’s Syndrome) or as a side effect of taking certain drugs or as an unavoidable consequence of irradiation therapy for treatment of head and neck cancers. This project seeks to discover radio protective drugs to prevent development of xerostomia using tissue chip technology. A key limitation in discovering such drugs is the lack of in vitro models to culture functional salivary gland mimetics. We overcome this hurdle by using microbubble (MB) array technology which is highly advantaged for development of functional tissue chips that can be used in high throughput (HT) drug discovery.
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Microbubble Arrays for Single Cell Sorting and Antigen Specific Detection
Microarrays are a critical and rapidly growing sector of medical diagnostics. Development of PDMS Microbubble (MB) arrays through gas expansion molding (GEM) are one promising approach for single cell sorting and antigen specific detection. These MB arrays will allow for the rapid screening and isolation of clonally pure cell lines from heterogeneous cell populations of both primary and laboratory cell lines.
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Microbubble Arrays for Sorting Cancer Stem Cells
Microbubble (MB) arrays - fabricated in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using our the patented gas expansion molding (GEM) process – are being developed as a novel screening tool to identify and characterize tumor initiating cells. Morphologically distinct clones are cultured from single cells, they are recovered and functionally characterized. Single cell survival and proliferation is enabled by the unique architecture of the MB well and its physiochemical properties.
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The Role of Nanoparticles and Skin Dendritic Cells in Immune Tolerance
Skin is the main route to allergen sensitization and provides protection from exposure to exogenous factors like microbes, pollutants, ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and nanoparticles (NPs). Skin immune cells (Langerhans cells-LCs) migrate to the lymph nodes following allergen exposure as in the case of Contact Hypersensitivity (CHS).
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Inflammatory skin disorders are typically treated with corticosteroid skin creams, topical immunomodulators, phototherapy and in extreme cases immunosuppressive agents. These drugs generally act on the immune system in a systemic fashion and have diverse effects that maybe harmful. Hence, there is a great need for developing effective transdermal drug delivery systems that target and regulate gene expression of cells in specific layers of skin.
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