Microdevices

Overview

Our research is focused on designing and building hybrid materials and devices. Microscale soft biological constructs, which retain their unique biological functionalities, are being interfaced with robust synthetic components to develop two distinct technologies: (1) Active bionanomaterials and (2) Quantitative pharmacological devices.


Muscle on a chip

Primary Investigator: Anna Grosberg, Ph.D

The “heart on a chip” is a microdevice that encapsulates multiple pieces of laminar muscle for in vitro studies of tissue contractility, structural properties, and electrophysiological function (Grosberg A, et al. “Ensembles of engineered cardiac tissues for physiological and pharmacological study: Heart on a chip.” Lab Chip, 2011). The design of such microdevices will give researches and companies an ability to perform tissue scale in vitro experiments to test their cell’s function and/or the effect of pharmacological agents. We are currently working on integrating the “heart on a chip” with other muscle types including stem-cell derived myocytes. Our design efforts are greatly enhanced by our lab’s variety of tools ranging from an optical mapping system and fluorescent microscopes to access to microfab facilities and the muscular thin film technology.

Anya_HeartOnChipMovie.gif

The movie shows a 6 film “heart on a chip”, blue – flat film outline, red – projection tracking


Higher throughput muscle on a chip

Primary Investigator: Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D

We are engineering cardiac and vascular smooth muscle cells into spatially organized microtissues on laser cut sub millimeter sized elastomer thin films and hydrogel thin films to give rise to large scale arrays of ‘Muscular Thin Films’ (MTFs) on a chip. The laser cutting procedure is also being employed to batch produce multiple chips in a reproducible and potentially scalable manner. Finally, these chips are being integrated into microfluidic devices to permit high throughput multiplexed analyses. We envision this in vitro technology to serve as an effective pre-clinical screen and hence greatly shorten the timeline and reduce the costs associated with the development of medical therapeutics and products.


Cardiac valve on a chip

Primary Investigator: Kartik Balachandran, Ph.D

We are also interested in developing combinatory “organ on a chip” devices, and one of our research thrusts in this direction is the development of a valve on a chip. Our objective is to design a valve system with neural input that recapitulates the function of a valve in a scaled down on-chip device. This research thrust is motivated from recent secondary valvulotoxic effects of neurological drugs such as diet pills (Fenfluramine-Phentermine) and anti-depressants. We aim to use this device for high throughput testing of neurological and valve function in response to various pharmacological agents.
DSC9881

What's New

Post-Doc Opening: Rapid Manufacturing of Regenerative Heart Valves May 7th, 2018

Prof. Kevin Kit Parker’s Disease Biophysics Group at the Harvard University Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering seeks a talented post-doctoral fellow to work on the rapid manufacturing of regenerative heart valves, or JetValves. The candidate will use the proprietary rotary jet spinning technologies developed in the Parker lab to design, build, and test heart valve replacements using natural and synthetic polymeric nanofibers. The goal of this translational project – which is part of an international collaboration with the University of Zurich in Switzerland – is to complete the preclinical characterization of JetValves in preparation for a first-in-man clinical trial.

 

Application Procedure

Interested candidates should submit their application packet to Prof. Kevin Kit Parker (kkparker@g.harvard.edu) and his admin assistant Dr. Ben Smith (bdsmith@g.harvard.edu) as a single pdf file with the following documents: cover letter, CV, 3 relevant papers, and the names of three referees.

More details found at: https://wyss.harvard.edu/job/rapid-manufacturing-of-regenerative-heart-valves/

 

Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

DBGer Professors!! May 4th, 2018

Kit had an opportunity to spend time with some of the former DBGers who have now joined the ranks of the community of scholars. At the Keystone Conference in Big Sky Montana, he spent time with (shown in photo) Professor Megan McCain from the University of Southern California, Professor Ashutosh Agarwal at the University of Miami, and the newly minted Professor Ben Maoz, Tel Aviv University! On his recent trip to Seoul, Kit spent time with Professor Hyunksuk Lee at Yonsei University. We are proud of all of our alumni and grateful to see them out doing great things!

Congrats DBGers Medical School Bound! May 4th, 2018

The DBG celebrates a 100% success rate with its medical school applicants this year. Tara Murty will be attending Stanford Medical School, Madeleine Dahl will be attending Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, Charles Alver will enter the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Miami, and Danielle Sawka has been accepted to the BA,MD program at Brown University. Congratulations!!

Congratulations to John Ferrier for winning the 2017 LG UltraWide Festival October 18th, 2017

The DBG would like to congratulate one of our lab managers, John Ferrier, on winning the 2017 LG UltraWide Festival which was hosted by Linus Tech Tips and Austin Evans!

DBG Nanofibers Merge with Art by Carla Ciuffo August 23rd, 2017

The Disease Biophysics Group would like to congratulate and thank Tennessee based artist Carla Ciuffo in her efforts to integrate our nanofibers into her art exhibit “Cosmic Garden” at Tinney Contemporary, opening this Saturday.

“Tundra,” 2017, polished acrylic with floating museum back frame, 48×48 on display at Tinney Contemporary. (Photo: Photo courtesy of the gallery)