NSF Highlights Haun’s Tissue Dissociation Technology as Breakthrough

July 21, 2020 - A new technology that separates single cells from tissue, developed by UC Irvine’s Jered Haun, was selected by the National Science Foundation to be featured in Chemical Engineering Progress, as part of an ongoing series highlighting breakthroughs from NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers. Haun, associate professor of biomedical engineering, is a faculty member of the Samueli School’s Center for Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics (CADMIM), an I/UCRC funded by NSF since 2014.

Haun’s group has developed a novel microscale fluidic device that can perform the entire tissue dissociation workflow in a rapid, gentle, thorough and automated manner, efficiently producing single cells. His device could dramatically advance single-cell diagnostics and boost their clinical potential, thus paving the way for powerful new personalized treatments. 

Current procedures of tissue dissociation are labor- and time-intensive, and extraction is inefficient and yields poor cell quality. Early tests have shown that Haun’s integrated device platform can extract more than 20,000 single, viable cells per milligram of tissue, which is two-fold to 10-fold greater than traditional methods. Alternatively, the device can produce similar numbers to traditional methods in a fraction of the time.

“Support from CADMIM has been essential to the development of our microfluidic tissue dissociation platform,” said Haun. “Interactions with industry mentors has accelerated our progress and introduced us to entirely new applications. This has resulted in devices that not only work well in the lab, but are poised for commercialization by a start-up company, Kino Discovery.”

To read the full article, see https://www.aiche.org/resources/publications/cep/2020/july/catalyzing-commercialization-microfluidics-based-chips-simplify-single-cell-separations-clinical

– Lori Brandt

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