Hyeun Joong Yoon: Circulating tumor cells

Title

Isolation and analysis of circulating tumor cells by microfluidic devices

Mentor

Hyeun Joong Yoon

Department

Electrical and Biomedical Engineering

Biosketch

Dr. Yoon is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. He was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan between 2010 to 2015. Dr. Yoon's current research is to develop advanced bioMEMS tools for understanding cell trafficking in cancer through isolation, characterization, and study of circulating tumor cells in the peripheral blood of cancer patients. His goal is to create cutting edge engineering solutions to clinical problems with novel translational biomedical research tools. His previous undergraduate students won NASA fellowships, Bennett fellowships, and Nevada Undergraduate Research Awards. He has published high-impact journal papers, including Nature Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, Sensors and Actuators A, B, etc.

Project Overview

The main goal of this project is the development of a low-cost, simple-to-fabricate, and biocompatible microfluidic device for the capture of circulating tumor cells. During this research program, students will develop hands-on skills in surface functionalization, microscope imaging, cell culture techniques, and microfluidic fabrication. The microfluidic device for cancer biology is a perfect model to learn biomedical engineering for undergraduate students. The following specific aims highlight the innovativeness of the proposed approach.

Specific aim 1: Design and optimization of microfluidic devices for isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs)

Specific aim 2: Isolation of CTCs from breast cancer cell lines or patient samples and identification of CTCs by on-chip immunostaining of heterogeneous protein markers in the captured cancer cells

Specific aim 3: Molecular characterization and gene profiling of CTCs in breast cancer by RT-PCR.