Microphysiological Systems for Emulating Human Tissues and Diseases

Dr. Yu Shrike Zhang, Harvard Medical School

Microphysiological systems are microfluidic three-dimensional miniature human tissue and organ models that recapitulate the important biological and physiological parameters of their in vivo counterparts. They have recently emerged as a viable platform for personalized medicine and drug screening. These biomimetic organoids are anticipated to replace the conventional planar, static cell cultures, and to bridge the gaps between the current pre-clinical animal models and the human body. In addition, multiple organoids may be channeled together through the microfluidics in a similar manner they arrange in vivo, providing the capacity to analyze interactions among these models. In this talk, I will discuss our recent efforts on developing integrated multi-organ-on-a-chip platforms formed by sophisticated microfluidics and bioengineered organoids, which can operate in a continual and automated manner over extended periods. I will also discuss a series of bioprinting strategies including sacrificial bioprinting, microfluidic bioprinting, and multi-material bioprinting, along with various cytocompatible bioink formulations, for the fabrication of biomimetic organoids. These platform technologies will likely provide new opportunities in constructing functional tissue and disease models with a potential extension into clinical therapeutics and precision therapy.

Biography: Dr. Zhang received a B. Eng. in Biomedical Engineering from Southeast University (Nanjing) in 2008, after which he then came to the US and obtained a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (2011) and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Medicine (2013), both with Prof. Younan Xia. Dr. Zhang then pursued postdoctoral training at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technologies, and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.  Dr. Zhang is currently a Research Faculty at Harvard Medical School and Associate Bioengineer at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Zhang’s research is focused on innovating medical engineering technologies to recreate functional biomimetic tissues, including 3D bioprinting, organs-on-chips, medical devices, biomedical imaging, and biosensing. In collaboration with a multidisciplinary team encompassing biomedical, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineers as well as biologists and clinicians, his laboratory seeks to ultimately translate these cutting-edge technologies into the clinics. His scientific contributions have been recognized by >35 international, national, and regional awards. More information can be found on his website (                                                 

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 17:00
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