Single Cell Biosensors for Dynamic Multigene Analysis in Complex Tissue Environments
Prof. Pak Kin Wong
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering and Surgery
The Pennsylvania State University
Date & Time
Room 7-37, Haking Wong Building, HKU
Heterogeneity is a common feature of biological systems. The heterogeneity across multiple levels collectively drives a variety of biological processes, such as tissue morphogenesis, cancer invasion, and microbial/host interactions. Conventional biosensing approaches for characterizing molecular and cellular heterogeneity, however, are often limited due to the requirement of a large number of cells. Furthermore, the existing single cell analysis techniques often require physical isolation or lysis of cells to “snapshot” RNA and protein biomarkers in a small subset of cells. Features of the complex microenvironment, such as hierarchical organization and dynamic cellular processes, are inherently lost by studying cells in isolation, fixation, and lysis. To address this challenge in biomedical research, we are developing a nanobiosensing platform to enable dynamic single cell gene expression analysis in complex tissue environments. In particular, we design anoengineered probes that enable endocytic uptake for real-time, dynamic intracellular detection of mRNA/miRNA, protein, and small molecules in living cells and tissues. In this presentation, I will discuss the application of the nanobiosensing platform for probing leader cell formation during wound healing and bladder cancer heterogeneity.
Pak Kin Wong is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Surgery at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. Dr. Wong’s research focuses on bioengineering techniques for elucidating collective cell migration in tissue regeneration and cancer metastasis, and developing microfluidic systems for clinical diagnostics. He has published 100 peer-reviewed journal articles in the area of nanotechnology and biomedical engineering, and is an inventor of three patents. He is an editor of Scientific Reports, IEEE Transaction on Nanotechnology, IEEE Nanotechnology Magazine, and SLAS Technology. Among other honors, Dr. Wong received the NIH Director's New Innovator Award in 2010, Arizona Engineering Faculty Fellow in 2011, AAFSAA outstanding Faculty Award in 2013, and JALA 10 – A Top 10 Breakthrough in Innovation in 2015. Dr. Wong is a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS).