Research Interests: I am working on devices that would allow us to leverage tissue engineering for both clinical and non-clinical applications. While the importance of clinical applications is clear, the latter is less so. Imagine if we could develop a device that allows for programmed biomineralization and then literally use bone as a general structural material, or grow sheets of abalone nacre for use in composites and body armor. Suppose we could tissue engineer feathers or the incredibly complex, 3D silica structures of diatoms?
In that light, I am working on a class of micro-bioreactor that would afford the ability to literally program the development of its target tissue utilizing locally delivered chemical, mechanical and electrical stimuli. I am currently attempting this by applying microfabrication techniques to traditional tissue scaffolds in an effort to incorporate active features into these scaffolds.
I have also established a collaborative surgical need-finding program at UCSF where Bioengineering graduate students can observe surgeries from within the OR and work with clinicians to determine unmet clinical engineering needs.
Job Interests: Academia or industry. To be decided. If I have a product on which to base a start-up, all the better.
Daniel is jointly enrolled at Berkeley and UCSF as a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering with a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton (2008). In his current capacity, his research spans medical device design, lizard chasing, dinosaur biomechanics and micro-interfaces for tissue engineering.
Inkjet Interfaces for Controlling Biological Pattern Formation [BPN500]
We have successfully adapted a consumer-grade inkjet printer for use as a means of controlling spatio-temporal gene expression
in 2D cell culture. Specifically, we take advantage of a high-resolution printer designed to print on the surface of CDs. By modifying
CD surfaces to contain customized Petri dish wells, we are able to culture E. coli in the wells and print various morphogens onto the
surface of the culture. By varying the geometry of printed patterns of lactose and glucose we have demonstrated spatiotemporal
control over the genetic activity of the lac operon.
Having successfully demonstrated the technology, we are now examining the wide array of interesting dynamic effects we
encountered such as propagating mRNA waves and counter-diffusion boundary control. We are also examining the possibility of
adapting this system for use with mammalian cells. Current mammalian culture systems cannot produce 2D gradients within the
culture material, meaning that an inkjet system capable of doing this would open up a number of interesting research areas.