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Title: Novel miniaturised and highly versatile biomechatronic platforms for the characterisation of melanoma cancer cells
Author: Alqabandi, Jassim
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 0341
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
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There has been an increasing demand to acquire highly sensitive devices that are able to detect and characterize cancer at a single cell level. Despite the moderate progress in this field, the majority of approaches failed to reach cell characterization with optimal sensitivity and specificity. Accordingly, in this study highly sensitive, miniaturized-biomechatronic platforms have been modeled, designed, optimized, microfabricated, and characterized, which can be used to detect and differentiate various stages of melanoma cancer cells. The melanoma cell has been chosen as a legitimate cancer model, where electrophysiological and analytical expression of cell-membrane potential have been derived, and cellular contractile force has been obtained through a correlation with micromechanical deflections of a miniaturized cantilever beam. The main objectives of this study are in fourfold: (1) to quantify cell-membrane potential, (2) correlate cellular biophysics to respective contractile force of a cell in association with various stages of the melanoma disease, (3) examine the morphology of each stage of melanoma, and (4) arrive at a relation that would interrelate stage of the disease, cellular contractile force, and cellular electrophysiology based on conducted in vitro experimental findings. Various well-characterized melanoma cancer cell lines, with varying degrees of genetic complexities have been utilized. In this study, two-miniaturized-versatile-biomechatronic platforms have been developed to extract the electrophysiology of cells, and cellular mechanics (mechanobiology). The former platform consists of a microfluidic module, and stimulating and recording array of electrodes patterned on a glass substrate, forming multi-electrode arrays (MEAs), whereas the latter system consists of a microcantilever-based biosensor with an embedded Wheatstone bridge, and a microfluidic module. Furthermore, in support of this work main objectives, dedicated microelectronics together with customized software have been attained to functionalize, and empower the two-biomechatronic platforms. The bio-mechatronic system performance has been tested throughout a sufficient number of in vitro experiments.
Supervisor: Rodriguez Y. Baena, Ferdinando ; Balint, Daniel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available