Node-Pore Sensing: How a (Humble) Four-Terminal Measurement Can Measure the Mechanical Properties of Single Cells

Date: 
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 4:15pm
Location: 
https://youtu.be/wO6EJz3bY5I
Author/Speaker: 
Affiliation: 
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Public Lecture: 
Yes

Title: Node-Pore Sensing: How a (Humble) Four-Terminal Measurement Can Measure the Mechanical Properties of Single Cells

Abstract: We have developed an electronic method to screen cells for their phenotypic profile, which we call Node-Pore Sensing (NPS).  NPS involves using a four-terminal measurement to measure the modulated current pulse caused by a cell transiting a microfluidic channel that has been segmented by a series of inserted nodes.  Previously, we showed that when segments between the nodes are functionalized with different antibodies corresponding to distinct cell-surface antigens, immunophenotyping can be achieved.  In this talk, I will show how we have significantly advanced NPS by simply inserting between two nodes a straight “contraction” channel through which cells can squeeze.  “Mechano-NPS”, as we now call our method, can simultaneously measure a cell’s size, resistance to deformation, transverse deformation, and ability to recover from deformation.  When the contraction channel is sinusoidal in shape, resulting in cells being periodically squeezed, mechano-NPS can also measure the viscoelastic properties of cells.  I will describe how we have used mechano-NPS to distinguish chronological age groups and breast-cancer risk groups of primary human mammary epithelial cells and identify drug-resistant acute promyelocytic leukemia cells—all based on mechanical properties.  I will also describe the development of the next-generation NPS platform which utilizes advanced signal processing algorithms—Barker and Gold codes—directly encoded in the NPS channels to thus achieve multiplexing.