BME PhD Proposal: Hung Li Chung
Engineered Microenvironment for Quantitative Studies of Neutrophil Migration
Supervised by Prof. Jim McGrath and Prof. Richard Waugh
The directed migration of cells is known as chemotaxis. Chemotaxis of the white blood cell neutrophil is an essential part of the body's early immune response during injury and infection. While many key molecules have been identified in the biochemical pathways of neutrophil migration, how these molecules are coordinate to actuate the migration is not well understood. Presented in this thesis proposal is a novel microfluidic device that generates a well-controlled chemoattractant gradient to guide the persistent migration and the turning of neutrophils. With this device, we will characterize how the adhesion receptors, which can be thought of as the feet of neutrophil, move on the surface of neutrophil to facilitate migration. We will also assess if neutrophil migration can be initiated and directed by an immobilized gradient of chemoattractants. Understanding how neutrophil sense and migrate in response to chemical stimuli can lead to a better treatment of disease such as sepsis, which is an overreaction of the inflammatory response that is often caused by the tissue damage inflicted by aggravated neutrophils.