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Microfluidics assisted bio- and nano-materials synthesis
Start Date: 5/19/2014Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Date: 5/19/2014End Time: 2:00 PM

Professor Amy Shen
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering 
& Chemical Engineering 
University of Washington

Monday, May 19th 2014, 1pm
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 736
Washington, DC 20052

Hosted by: Dr. Kausik Sarkar (

Microfluidics has emerged in recent years as a versatile method of manipulating fluids at small length-scales, and in particular, for generating and manipulating micron size droplets with controllable size and functionality. For example, many research groups developed microfluidics devices for cell encapsulation, and synthesizing functionalized polymer microspheres and inorganic nanoparticles with precise control over their shapes and sizes.  In this talk, I will showcase 2 examples on microfluidics based approaches.
(1) Shear-induced structures (SIS) are known to form in flows of wormlike micellar solutions.  In simple shear cases these structures (SIS) are temporary and disintegrate upon cessation of the flow; while in certain mixed-flow cases these flow-induced structured phases (FISPs) are stable and long-lived.  Here, we study the flow of micellar solutions (both ionic and non-ionic surfactants) in a microfluidic device containing an array of microposts and explore the gelation mechanism with encapsulation and biosensing applications.
 (2) A novel droplet microfluidics method to image oxygen in single islets (pancreatic cells) for glucose sensing.  Individual islets and a fluorescent oxygen-sensitive dye were encased within a thin alginate polymer microcapsule for insulin secretion monitoring. The sensing system operated similarly from 2-48 hours following encapsulation, and viability and function of the islets were not significantly affected by the encapsulation process. This approach should be applicable to other cell types and dyes sensitive to other biologically important molecules.

Amy Shen received her Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October 2000. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University from 2000-2002. Amy Shen is an associate professor in Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering at University of Washington and served as the director of soft matter and microfluidics laboratory. Amy’s research is focused on the complex fluids, rheology, biomaterials and self assembly that can find application in the nanotechnology, biotechnology, and energy related materials.  Amy is an honor member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Tau Sigma. Amy received Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in 2003 and the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award in 2007. Amy is also a Fulbright Scholar in 2013.

Cindy Fields Arnold
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