1. Stem Cell Control. Stem cells, with their remarkable abilities to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple
tissue lineages, hold great promise for regenerative medicine. In a developing embryo or an adult body, the fate of stem cells is tightly
regulated by their microenvironments which provide a unique combination of various extracellular stimuli such as soluble factors,
extracellular matrix proteins, cell-cell interactions, mechanical stress, pH, ionic strength, temperature, etc. Successful clinical
applications of stem cells will require reproducing key signaling cues that govern self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation of stem
cells in vitro. Whereas conventional cell culture methods provide limited means to investigate extracellular cues, micro/nano technologies
can offer a wide spectrum of tools to apply such cues to stem cells in a controlled manner. Therefore, stem cell research is likely to
significantly benefit from a micro/nano technology-based platform that allows for screening combinations of various extracellular cues. In
addition, the screening process for enabling combinations will be challenged by a large multi-dimensional parameter space created by the
number and intensity of possible cues, requiring an efficient optimization method. Currently, we are developing novel engineering methods to
control the fate of stem cells toward successful translation into regenerative medicine.
2. Biomedical Microdevices. Interfacing with DNAs, proteins, and cells at their corresponding length scale can
significantly enhance engagements of medical devices with these clinically relevant biological targets. Biomedical microdevices, typically
integrating micro- and/or nano-scale transducers, can offer several advantages over the conventional methods, including small footprints,
minimal samples and reagents consumption, ultrasensitive detection, and quick analyses. These advantages collectively make biomedical
microdevices an ideal platform to develop implantable devices and point-of-care diagnostic tools for patients monitoring and treatments.
Currently, we are focusing on developing platform technologies for advanced medical diagnostics and tissue culture.
More information on the Tsutsui Lab
Valamehr, B., Tsutsui, H., Ho, C.M., and Wu, H., Developing defined culture systems for human pluripotent stem cells, Regenerative Medicine,
Tsutsui, H., Valamehr, B., Hindoyan, A., Qiao, R., Ding, X., Guo, S., Witte, O.N., Liu, X., Ho, C.M., and Wu, H., An Optimized Small Molecule
Inhibitor Cocktail Supports Long-term Maintenance of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Nature Communications, 2:167, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1165, 2011.
Tsutsui, H., Yu, E., Marquina, S., Valamehr, B., Wong, I., Wu, H., and Ho, C.M., Efficient Dielectrophoretic Patterning
of Embryonic Stem Cells in Energy Landscapes Defined by Hydrogel Geometries, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 38, pp. 3777-3788, 2010.
Lillehoj, P.B., Tsutsui, H., Valamehr, B., Wu, H., and Ho, C.M., Continuous Sorting of Heterogeneous-Sized Embryoid Bodies, Lab on a Chip,
Vol. 10, pp. 1678-1682, 2010.
Tsutsui, H., and Ho, C.M., Cell Separation by Non-Inertial Force Fields in Microfluidic Systems, Mechanics Research Communications, Vol. 36,
pp. 92-103, 2009.