Welcome to deMello Group to perform your student projects. There are constantly open projects for bachelor and master students. You can either follow an ongoing research project or define a new project in discussion with a mentor in deMello Group. Here we list some of the currently available student projects (topics). For more possibilities, you can ask by email or visiting our lab.
Rapid Screening of Antibiotics using Droplet Microfluidics
Droplet-based microfluidic systems are powerful tools for performing chemical and biological experiments. Millions of droplets can be used to encapsulate a wide variety of samples in pL-volumes, allowing for ultra-sensitive and rapid analysis. Put simply, the use of such droplets provides an enormous advantage over conventional high-throughput screening methods. We have recently discovered a novel microfluidic strategy that allows for easy and reliable execution of multiplex analysis within droplets. In this project, you will use this strategy to screen antibiotics and evaluate their performance.
This project is suitable for master students. You will be trained in:
The latest microfluidic droplet technologies for high-throughput experimentation.
The design and fabrication of microfluidic chips.
High-speed imaging and image analysis.
Flow cytometry and data analysis.
Dr. Yun Ding
CLOUD-ON-A-CHIP: When Does Ice Nucleate?
It is a collaboration between the Atmospheric Physics (Lohmann, D-USYS) and Microfluidics (deMello, D-CHAB) groups. The project is to improve our ability to predict the formation of ice and clouds (cold and mixed-phase) in the atmosphere by quantifying the ice nucleation activity of particles (mineral, biological, and/or anthropogenic). More details can be seen here.
A Well-defined Double Emulsion System for High-throughput Biological Screening Experiments
Water-in-oil-in-water emulsions or double emulsions (DB) could be the next research focus of droplet-based microfluidics. The semi-permeable interface of the DB and the aqueous surrounding environment provide new opportunities for performing high-throughput biological screening experiments. In this project, you will define a DB system and optimize its workflow for the usage in a specific biological task. You will have a lot of fun to play with these lovely DBs. This project is suitable for creative master students.
Dr. Yun Ding
High-throughput Methods for Capturing 3D Chromosome Conformation
Genome DNA coding is linear. However, the organization of the genome is in a 3D configuration, forming chromosomes. Such 3D configuration of chromosome is complex, dynamic, and crucial for gene regulation. The goal of this project is to develop a high-throughput workflow to perform 3C (chromosome conformation capture) experiments at the single chromosome level. This project is suitable for hardcore master students.
Dr. Yun Ding
A High-Throughput Optofluidics for Rare Cells Enrichment
Rare cells sorting is important for single cell analysis and disease diagnosis. However, these cells, like circulating tumor cells (CTCs), usually present at very low levels (around 1~10 CTCs per milliliter), which challenges the current benchtop fluorescence-activated cell sorting systems. For this project, a high throughput microfluidic flow cytometer for CTCs enrichment will be developed, the goal of which is to provide a pre-sorting strategy which can enrich the CTCs concentration to a large extent in quite a short time with high accuracy before downstream analysis.
Microfluidic System for Extracellular Vesicles Fractionation
Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including apoptotic bodies, microvesicles and exosomes, is a kind of lipid-based vector which contains nucleic acids and proteins for intracellular communication, demonstrating great potential for early disease detection and therapeutic drug delivery systems. Traditional separation methods, e.g. differential centrifugation and ultrafiltration, are time-consuming and labor-intensive, and suffer from low sample purity or low sample yield. Towards this end, a novel and simple microfluidic system for isolation of EVs based on their size will be developed. Downstream analysis, e.g. western blot and sequencing, will be employed, hopefully providing an easy-operating way for early detection of cancer.
Yingchao Meng, Mohammad Asghari