Project Title: Integrated Nanotoxicology on a Chip, University of Utah Research Funding

Engineered nanoparticles have been extensively used in technology, research and medicine due to their unique chemical and physical properties. Currently, various experiments in environments such as in vitro (artificial, under the glass) or in vivo (live isolated cells) are used to assess the potential toxicity of these nanoparticles. There is an urgent need to replace these testing systems with ones that more closely mimic the human physiology and reduce turnaround time, and reagent and labor costs.

The grand vision for this project is to develop a system where “organs on a chip” are integrated into several microfluidic compartments where the nanoparticles pass through, much like they would in vivo resulting in unique readouts about nanoparticle toxicity in various organs. The long-term impact of this research on society would be that an integrated high throughput microfluidics technology will be developed for rapid and efficient screening of nanoparticle toxicology.

Collaborators on this project:

  • Mechanical Engineering, Professor Bruce Gale: expertise in microfluidics and the principle investigator
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering, Associate Professor Hanseup Kim: expertise in electronics and blood brain barrier systems technologies
  • Pharmaceutics and Bioengineering, Professor Hamidreza Ghandehari: knowledge of nanoparticle design and toxicity assessment assays

To learn more about Prof. Gale and his research visit the State of Utah Center of Excellence for Biomedical Microfluidics