Project Code: 18071
Project Title: Microfluidic System for Determination of Cell Stiffness
Project Type: Faculty
Project Intellectual Property: University Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering
Description: Medications and implantable devices can adversely affect the mechanical properties of platelets when physical stresses are introduced. Applied stresses, such as shear forces, pressure and acoustic-mediated vibrations, can activate the circulating cells driving blood clot formation, which may lead to ischemia, heart attack and stroke. By measuring cell stiffness, the likelihood that cells will activate under applied stresses can be determined. The designed system induces the electrodeformation of platelets by dielectrophoresis, which uses a nonuniform electric field to trap and measure cells’ mechanical properties, such as stiffness, without causing activation. As the voltage is varied and the cells are deformed, the system images and tracks the parameter changes that occur in each of the visible platelets. The measured changes in platelet parameters are sent to the system’s programmed algorithms to calculate the mechanical properties of each individual cell. The images and cell properties can be monitored through a user-friendly graphical user interface.