Effects of Pulsatility, Curvature, and Drag force on Magnetic Nanoparticles in Flexible Tubes

Magnetic drug targeting (MDT) via the use of magnetic nanoparticles as carrier vehicles for therapeutic agents under the influence of a magnetic field in cardiovascular flow has received much attention for the prospects of treatment processes for cancer and cardiovascular disease. This drug delivery scheme promises improvements in diagnosis and therapeutic treatments by increasing targeting efficacy while avoiding and/or minimizing systemic circulation which often causes added toxicity to healthy sites. However, despite ongoing research of cardiovascular flows and magnetohydrodynamics, the fluid dynamics of blood flow and its effect on magnetically manipulated nanoparticles associated with MDT is poorly understood. This research is focused on modelling physiological flow in rigid and flexible mock arterial vessels and analyzing the effect of magnetic targeting barriers such as pulsatility, compliance, and curvature.


Localized Medical Drug Delivery via Magnetized Biocompatible Stents

Advanced stent designs with polymer coated drug-eluting capabilities have resulted in a paradigm shift of cardiovascular stenting procedures. However, the lack of reendothelization after stent angioplasty in addition to the lack of the capacity for drug dose adjustment and release kinetics to the diseased site remains to be an unresolved issue. Our group hypothesizes that these limitations can be addressed by combining magnetic targeting via a uniform field-induced magnetization effect and a biocompatible magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) formulation designed for efficient entrapment and delivery of therapeutic agents.  Our group is currently investigating the feasibility of site-specific drug delivery to implanted magnetizable stents by uniform field-controlled targeting numerically and experimentally (in-vitro).


Fabrication of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Microfluidic Channels using Low Resolution 3-D Printing

Microfluidic devices are becoming increasingly popular within the field of biomedical engineering due to their many advantages.  Various high-resolution microfluidic devices are developed via casting polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) into photolithographically manufactured molds.  This method is very popular; however this method is time consuming, very costly, and requires access to a clean room.  The aim of this research is to address these limitations by exploring the possibilities of producing microfluidic devices via 3-D printing.  


Cell Separation techniques in Microfluidic Channels via Secondary Magnetic Fields

Diagnosis of diseases and accurate monitoring of genetic conditions require rapid and accurate separation, sorting, and direction of target cell types toward a sensor surface. In this regard, cellular manipulation, separation, and sorting are increasingly finding application potential within various bioassays in context to cancer diagnosis, pathogen detection, and genomic testing. A variety of non-invasive methods currently exist to separate cells in continuous flow, including optical tweezers, dielectrophoresis, magnetic particle-based separators, and deterministic hydrodynamics. However, current methods lack the ability to reliably achieve fast speed, high throughput and resolution, and low-cost fabrication of the microfluidic platform simultaneously. Our group aims to address these issues through introducing a microfabricated on chip microfluidic system that permits efficient separation of magnetic micro and nano-particles, either alone or bound to living bacteria under continuous flow.


Ionic Polymer Composite (IPC) Wall Shear Stress transducers

Wall shear stress (WSS), also known as skin friction is a key performance parameter of near wall flow physics (e.g. laminar/turbulent transition, flow separation) occurring on the surfaces of aerial and terrestrial vehicles. Robust methods for characterizing the structure of turbulent boundary layers are currently needed to resolve engineering issues such as viscous drag reduction, flow control method failure, and turbine boundary layer characterization in aerodynamic applications. Over the last decade, there has been various forms of wall shear stress measuring devices that have been developed for a host of applications ranging from medical to aeronautic applications.  The ultimate goal of this research is to develop an innovative measuring device that can perform direct wall shear stress measurements internal and external to rigid and compliant vessels with high sensitivity and resolution.  Our group aims to produce such a device by fabricating an ionic polymer composite material that produces small charges due to multi-axis deflections which are appropriate for flow stress measurements.