Microphysiological Seminar

Co-hosted by Georgia Tech, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Emory University.

BlueJeans participation link: https://bluejeans.com/794598598

  • 4:00 p.m.  "Electrochemical Detection Enables Rapid Point of Care COVID Testing"Hanhao "Spencer" Zhang, Graduate Student, Micro/Nano Bioelectronics Lab - Advisor: Aniruddh Sarkar
  • 4:30 p.m. "Lymphoid Organoids for Understanding B Cell Immune Response in Aging" Zhe "Monica" Zhong, Graduate Student, Immunotherapy and Cell Engineering Lab - Advisor: Ankur Singh
  • 5:00 p.m.  Adjourn


Hanhao "Spencer" Zhang (Advisor: Aniruddh Sarkar) - "Electrochemical Detection Enables Rapid Point of Care COVID Testing:"

The wide spread of COVID-19 and its heterogeneity – a large number of mild or asymptomatic cases coupled with the relatively rapid degradation in symptoms in some patients - have underscored the need for developing inexpensive point-of-care diagnostic and monitoring tools for infectious diseases. While impressive progress has been made overall in scaling and implementation of existing diagnostics, most still require complex, bulky and expensive equipment designed to be used in dedicated central laboratories. Miniaturization via microfabrication and nanofabrication methods offers a unique opportunity to make simple, portable and inexpensive diagnostic tools. Compared to conventional optical detection methods, electrochemical detection has significant advantages at the microscale. Here, I will present our progress on developing a multiplexed electrochemical detection scheme for COVID19 biomarkers. I will also discuss their applicability to the general unmet needs in biomarker detection including for other infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis and beyond.

Zhe "Monica" Zhong (Advisor:Ankur Singh) - "Lymphoid Organoids for Understanding B Cell Immune Response in Aging:"

Older people demonstrate a decline in immune response to new pathogens and vaccines, the causes of which are poorly understood but can be attributed to a defective T cell and B cell interaction in acquired immunity. Prior work suggests that the B cell immunosenescence and impaired expression of CD40L on CD4+ T cells leads to a less durable, lower-affinity antibody response, which depends on the induction of a transient subanatomical structure, called germinal centers (GC), in the B cell follicles of lymph nodes. The challenge in testing vaccines and generating antibody responses against infectious agents in the aged individual is the limited induction of GC B cell reaction. Identifying molecular targets in GC reaction that regulate GC response in B cells in aged people can enable design and discovery of better vaccines and immunotherapies. However, the study of aged immune system has long been limited to in vivo approaches, which often do not allow multidimensional spatial and temporal control of intracellular and extracellular processes. Additionally, no current ex vivo techniques entail the bona fide somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation process of antibody formation in aged B cells. . In my doctoral research, I am developing a 3D-biomaterial-based immune organoid that presents lymphoid microenvironmental cues to B cells and enables the recapitulation of GC-like phenotype ex vivo. Using these enabling technologies, I am understanding factors that regulate B cell outcomes during host-pathogen interactions in aging.