Mohammad Asghari

Doctoral Student

Bio

 

Memo received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. Later, he moved to Ankara, Turkey, to continue his Master studies in Material Science and Nanotechnology department (UNAM) in Bilkent University. Memo joined deMello group as a PhD student in June 2018.


His research interests are summarized below:


Cells and Extracellular Vesicles Sorting


Extracellular Vesicles


Recently it became clear that biofluids contain vesicles covering a wide range of size (50 nm to 2 um) that are naturally released from a cell. Such vesicles contain mainly proteins and nucleic acids making them great potential as biomarkers for detection of disease states. In this project, we have developed extremely simple microfluidic systems to sort and enrich vesicles based on their size. Moreover, as a part of this project, capturing and sequencing nucleic acids would be investigated for early diagnosis and prognosis of various types of cancer.


Cells


Currently one of the main challenges of cell biology is the ability to differentiate the vast heterogeneity of cells based on their size, content, and morphology. Unsurprisingly, such differences can give info about cell identity and its physiological functions. Very recent studies have demonstrated that machine learning techniques can help to sort out cells with unique structural and morphological features. Here, our goal is to integrate machine-learning technique with a simple microfluidic device for detection and isolation of cells based on their size and morphology.


Fast Kinetic Analyses


Rapid protein motion analysis


Proteins are biomolecules controlling the majority of biological functions within living cells. For instance, most metabolic processes in living cells involve chemical reactions that must be accelerated by enzymes. However, chemical structure, interaction with substrate molecules and temporal dynamics of enzymes are the key factors to reach desired chemical reaction and product release. As part of this project, we are developing platform by combining high-sensitivity optical detection systems and droplet-based microfluidics to probe conformational changes of the molecular gates and unravel the pathways through which substrate arrives at the active site.


DNA hybridization kinetics


Hybridization of complementary DNA sequences is a key molecular process in biology and biotechnology. Some of the DNA hybridization processes happen in sub-millisecond time scale which lies in limit of detection of the current commercialized devices. In this project, we are developing droplet based microfluidic device to investigate various parameters affecting hybridization rate and understand fast DNA hybridization kinetics. 


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