Symposium led by Purdue, S. Korea teams to focus on advancements in organ-on-a-chip research

May 2, 2013  

Ali Khademhosseini

Ali Khademhosseini  
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Research teams from Purdue University's Discovery Park and the Korean Institute of Science and Technology will meet May 16 for a symposium highlighting their work in advancing organ-on-a-chip activities.

The daylong event, the eighth in the series since the partnership was formed in 2006, is titled Organ-on-a-Chip and will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Martin Jischke Hall of Biomedical Engineering, Room 2001.

Ali Khademhosseini, an associate professor at Harvard-MIT's Division of Health Sciences and Technology, the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, will deliver the keynote address titled "Microengineered Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering" at 3:30 p.m.

Organizers of the annual symposium include Bindley Bioscience Center, Birck Nanotechnology Center, the School of Biomedical Engineering and Discovery Park as well as the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). The event is free and open to the Purdue campus and general public.

"Microfluidic systems are now being developed to model biological environments and physically mimic biological tissues and organs," said symposium co-organizer James Leary, SVM Professor of Nanomedicine and professor of basic medical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of biomedical engineering in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.

"Such 'organs-on-a-chip' methods, which are the focus of this year's Purdue-KIST symposium, could have an important role in expediting early stages of drug discovery and help reduce reliance on animal testing. It's exciting for Purdue to be a part of this important conversation in the areas of research and learning."

Organ-on-a-chip is a multichannel 3-D microfluidic cell culture chip that simulates the activities, mechanics and physiological response of entire organs and organ systems, opening the door for using this approach instead of animals in drug development and other testing.

The symposium will include presentations by researchers from KIST, Purdue and the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston:

* 10:35-11:15 a.m. - "Nanotechnology for siRNA Delivery" by Kwangmeyung Kim, senior research scientist, Center for Theragnosis, Biomedical Research Institute at KIST.

* 11:20 a.m. to noon - "Biophotonic Nanoparticles for In Vivo Disease Imaging" by Sehoon Kim, senior research scientist, Center for Theragnosis, Biomedical Research Institute at KIST.

* 1-1:30 p.m. - "Activatable Fluorescent Probe Imaging in Aortic Aneurysms and Myocardial Infarction" by Craig Goergen, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue.

* 1:30-2 p.m. - "Magnetic Nanoconstructs for MR Imaging and Nanomanipulation" by Paolo Decuzzi, professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute.

* 2-2:30 p.m. - "Tunable Collagen Polymers for Advancement of In-Vitro 3-D Models of Human Tissues" by Sherry Harbin, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue.

* 2:30-3 p.m. - "Tumor-Microenvironment-on-Chip: Integrated Systems Biology Approach for Predictive Tumor Model" by Bumsoo Han, associate professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering at Purdue.

Khademhosseini, also a faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, has received early career awards from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), IEEE Nanotechnology award, the Colburn award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Y.C. Fung award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

In 2011 he won the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor given by the U.S. government for early career investigators. His research is based on developing microscale and nanoscale technologies to control cellular behavior with an emphasis in developing microscale biomaterials and engineering systems for tissue engineering.

In 2006 the South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology selected the KIST and Purdue team project from 20 international research proposals submitted to examine how to learn more about the molecular makeup of diseases.

The $4.5 million research initiative, which spans nine years, now involves several KIST and Purdue researchers working to advance the role that nanoparticles can play in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer or chronic diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis. The research also focuses on next-generation tools that would aid the medical community in what's known as theragnosis - combining simultaneous diagnostics and therapeutics.

The Korean Ministry of Science and Technology provides central planning, coordination and evaluation of all science and technology activities in South Korea. The agency also formulates national policies in the areas of technology, space and nuclear energy.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Source: James Leary, 765-494-7280,

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