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K-State Today

September 11, 2019

Christopher Culbertson featured in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar today

Submitted by Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Christopher Culbertson, professor of chemistry and associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences at K-State, is the featured speaker for Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar today, Sept. 11. He will present "Enhancing the Information Content of Single Cell Analysis on Microfluidic Devices using Optical Fiber Bridges" at 4 p.m. in 120 Ackert Hall.

Presentation: Microfluidic devices have begun to change the way cellular analysis is performed. They are capable of analyzing multiple analytes from single-cell lysates at rates of up to 15 cells/min for periods up to three hours. These rates and analysis times are sufficient to generate statistically significant results. One potential application for these single-cell analysis devices is the rapid quantitation of reactive nitrogen species associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Such analyses are difficult to perform using bulk cells due to the volatile nature and short lifetimes of reactive nitrogen species and because several species need to be quantitated simultaneously.

We have developed a novel microfluidic device architecture that integrates an optical fiber into a microfluidic device to provide three excitation and three detection spots using only one excitation source and one detector. This architecture takes advantage of a tunneling mode available in multimode fibers. Being able to detect the lysis event and the completeness of the lysate injection is important as it allows one to characterize how well a system is behaving, to monitor whether something begins to go wrong over the course of an analysis, and to identify analytes in a multicomponent separation based upon their absolute migration times. This device was used to determine the activities of reactive nitrogen species, kinases, and proteases in immune system cells such as lymphocytes, macrophages and microglia.