BME Lecture Series (Zoom): Michelle Digman, UC Irvine
Michelle Digman, Ph.D.

Co-equity adviser for the Samueli School of Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs


Abstract: Cell-surface interactions are important for improving the lifetime of biomedical implants. Adhesion to surfaces is regulated through focal adhesions (FAs). We developed a super-resolution axial analysis to image FA architecture with step sizes smaller than the PSF using the z-phasor analysis. We have found that FA proteins are stacked at a higher z-position when formed on our nanolines (L860) compared to flat surfaces. In addition, we used a vinculin FRET tension sensor (VinTS) to study how the rearrangement on L860 affects cellular tension. We also apply the phasor approach to fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) as a novel method to measure metabolic alteration as a function of ECM mechanics. These results show that the phasor/FLIM approach is a powerful method in monitoring metabolism and mechanics that may improve our understanding in the potential roles it has in cell invasion. This work is supported by the NSF CAREER 1847005 & NIH P41-GM103540.

Bio: Michelle Digman is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Irvine. She is currently co-equity adviser for the Samueli School of Engineering, BME associate chair for Graduate Affairs, the co-investigator of the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics (a P41 NIH Center) and director of the W.M. Keck Nanoimaging Lab. She received her master's degree and doctorated in chemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago and completed her postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign in the Department of Physics.