Agresti talk on drop-based microfluidic screening

September 14, 2009

Now that fall is approaching along with the beginning of the academic year, Boston has exploded with activity. There are a ton of upcoming events related to microfluidics/BioMEMS/medicine that I will be highlighting in the next few days. While all of the talks are in the Boston area, links to audio/video recordings will be listed when available.


To start things off, on Monday September 21, 2009, Dr. Jeremy Agresti, a researcher in theWeitz lab at Harvard, will give a talk at MIT from 4-5:30 pm (Building 56, Room 114).  Dr. Agresti will discuss his work on “Ultra-high-throughput screening in  drop-based microfluidics”:


The transformative discoveries required to solve urgent global problems, such as finding new drugs or environmentally-friendly energy sources, are ultimately limited by our ability to sift through vast numbers of samples. We introduce an ultra-high-throughput microfluidic screening platform using picoliter-volume emulsion drops as reaction vessels. We apply the system to the directed evolution of the enzyme horseradish peroxidase and improve the catalytic rate by >10-fold. This unprecedented improvement in the activity of this enzyme was achieved with a one-thousand-fold reduction in time and a greater than one-million-fold reduction in cost compared to the previous state-of-the-art.


The website for the Weitz lab is a fantastic way to learn more about their work; the site showcases a variety of microfluidics (and other) research, including work studying the use of microfluidics to create emulsions, methods for encapsulation of cells in droplets, and the use of valves for droplet formation. In addition, the website includes full-text pdf downloads of the Weitz lab publications to date.

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