Past Event


November 20, 2020
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
On Friday, November 20th @ 11:00AM EDT, we welcome Prof. Cullen R. Buie from MIT as he presents, "Electric Field Assisted Microfluidics for Healthcare and Biotechnology." ABOUT THE SEMINAR Electric fields can be a useful tool in the interrogation and genetic manipulation of cells. With respect to bacteria, the cell envelope is critical for understanding important physiological behaviors, such as extracellular electron transfer (EET) and antibiotic uptake. Through EET, microbes can transport electrons from their interior to external insoluble electron acceptors (e.g. metal oxides or electrodes in an electrochemical cell), which has attracted tremendous attention due to potential applications in environmental remediation and energy conversion. In this talk, we will present how bacterial envelope phenotypes such as EET can be quantified by cell surface polarizability, a dielectric property that can be measured using microfluidic dielectrophoresis. Next, we will discuss work in our laboratory to use very high electric fields (~10 kV/cm) in microfluidic devices to enable high throughput delivery of nucleic acids to bacterial populations. Results of this work hold exciting promise for rapid screening of bacterial envelope phenotypes and for accelerating genetic engineering of bacteria for industrial applications. Lastly, we will present recent efforts by a company spun out of the Buie Laboratory, Kytopen, which is leveraging the electroporation work to enable scalable non-viral transfection of mammalian cells. Applications of this work include adoptive cell therapies such as CAR-T, which are currently plagued by high costs and manufacturing issues. ABOUT THE SPEAKER Cullen R. Buie, PhD Associate Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cullen Buie is an Associate Professor in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Laboratory for Energy and Microsystems Innovation. His laboratory explores flow physics at the microscale for applications in materials science and applied biosciences. In 2017 Kytopen, a start-up Buie co-founded that offers a high throughput method of genetic engineering, was among the first start-ups to be backed by The Engine, a start-up ecosystem launched by MIT. Buie was honored with the NSF Career Award in 2012, the DuPont Young Professor Award in 2013, the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2013, and the NSF Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers in 2016. Buie received his BS from The Ohio State University. He earned his master’s and PhD in mechanical engineering at Stanford University and served as a postdoctoral fellow for one year at the University of California-Berkeley. ABOUT THE 2020-2021 BME WEBINAR SERIES The Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University is proud to host an annual weekly webinar series on the latest developments and research in Biomedical Engineering. The weekly series takes place on Friday mornings at 11:00AM Eastern and includes a variety of renowned academics from top universities to talk about their specific research and experience.

Contact Information

Alexis Newman