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Jan 27 2023

1/27 -Jian Zhou, University of Illinois Chicago

Biomedical Engineering Seminar

January 27, 2023

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


SEO 236 (in-person event)


851 S Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

Speaker: Jian Zhou, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering
Colleges of Engineering and Medicine
University of Illinois Chicago

Title: Label-free microfluidic technologies for early detection of cancers

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Despite the various forms of cancer, one consensus is that it is most treatable when caught early. In general, early detection is the key to the long-term survival of cancer patients and their quality of life. However, detecting cancer at its earliest stages presents great challenges, since early-stage cancer is small and often deep in tissues without causing symptoms. As cancer in its all forms requires supply of blood, blood test presents an unparalleled opportunity for the detection of cancer regardless of its forms. My research focus on developing label-free microfluidic technologies for cancer detection based on blood test. Early work has suggested that primary tumors release tumor cells into the blood circulation even before they can be detected by conventional imaging methods such as CT and MRI. Finding these circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood could be a practical solution to the problems in early detection of all solid tumors. I will discuss the challenges in separating these rare cells and how the microfluidic approaches can be ideal in such applications. I will discuss the technologies of inertial microfluidics, viscoelastic microfluidics, and shear-induced diffusion (SID) that we developed for cell separation as well as our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying these methods. I will also share our latest results on the applications of these technologies in the detection of various cancers including non-small-cell-lung cancer (NSCLC), head and neck cancer (HNC), and breast cancer. The CTCs and their clusters we found are not only indicative of the presence of cancer, but they also provide us with the most dynamic window of probing the molecular heterogeneity of the tumors.


UIC Biomedical Engineering

Date posted

Jan 24, 2023

Date updated

Jan 24, 2023