EventDr. Burcu Gümüşcü

LAB-ON-A-CHIP Devices with Soft Materials for Bioclinical and Engineering Applications

Hydrogels are powerful soft materials that hold great promise for transformative technologies as well as hitherto unrealized fundamental studies. In the past decade, synthesis of chemically and geometrically complex hydrogels created a surge of interest that is the pull from a wide range of applications including microfluidic biosensors for disease diagnosis, on-chip platforms for disease modeling, and water desalination (see the figure). Such applications require a close link of the hydrogel function with chemical composition and morphology. Chemical and UV induced synthesis methods afford the ability to engineer material properties a priori and confer precise control of reactions at micron-sized environments. In this talk, I will (i) provide an overview on the recent advances in design and functionalization of hydrogels inside microsystems, (ii) highlight several applications including cancer diagnosis, next-generation biomolecule sequencing, organ-on-chip, and water treatment, and (iii) discuss the future directions of this emerging technology.


About The Speaker


Dr. Burcu Gümüşcü Sefunc is a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley (USA), where she performs independent research on novel microfluidic biosensors for single-cell protein analysis. She also serves as a webwriter at Royal Society of Chemistry in collaboration with the development editor of Lab on a Chip Journal. Dr. Gümüşcü Sefunc had a postdoctoral stint at University of Twente (NL), where she performed micro-scale desalination using hydrogels. She received her Ph.D. degree in bioengineering at BIOS Lab-on-a chip group at University of Twente in 2016. The focus of her Ph.D. project aimed at the design and development microfluidic devices for next generation sequencing, organ-on-chip, and water desalination on the microscale. She received the master degree from Bilkent University Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology (UNAM) in 2012 and bachelor’s degree from Hacettepe University Department of Biology in 2010. Her overarching academic goal is the incorporation of low-cost smart materials into lab-on-a-chip settings as an alternative strategy to expensive and low throughput systems.