Research Interests: Microfluidic cell analysis platforms, Microfluidic diagnostic devices, Point-of-care disease diagnostics
Debkishore Mitra is currently a doctoral candidate in Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His thesis research is aimed at the development of microfluidic devices enabling personalized medicine for cancer patients. These devices allow high throughput analysis of cancerous cell samples through processes such as concentration and lysis, chemo-sensitivity and invasion assays. Furthermore, he is working on the development of blood-based microfluidic diagnostic devices for cancer and infectious diseases. Prior to graduate studies, Debkishore worked on a myriad of projects ranging from in-silico drug design to studying benzene biotransformation by airborne bacteria. He has also worked as a research intern at Invitrogen and BioRad, contributing on projects related to fluidic circuit analysis and biomolecule recovery. Improvement and innovation in health care technologies is Debkishores’ primary motivation to pursue research in integrated and portable microfluidic diagnostic devices.
Microfluidic Chemo-Sensitivity Assay Platform (µCAP) for Personalized Breast Cancer Therapy and Research [BPN668]
Tumor chemo-sensitivity assays (TCA) involve the in vitro exposure of cultured cancerous cells to different drugs at varying concentrations. These analyses are traditionally used to determine drug susceptibilities, of cancerous cells in vitro, and can help discern whether a certain drug regimen will work against a tumor of a certain individual. This paradigm of personalized medicine has been explored in breast cancer, where a correlation has been shown between TCA guided therapy and clinical outcome. Microfluidic platforms can provide clinicians the ability to perform such assays with minimal amount of patient sample and also assay a variety of different therapeutic regimens. However, current microfluidic assay platforms are limited by the lack of the ability to independently lyse or collect cells exposed to different conditions and either the absence of on- chip sample pre-concentration or the use of abrasive cell traps. In this project, we propose a Microfluidic Chemo-sensitivity Assay Platform (µCAP) with non-abrasive on-chip cell pre- concentration and individually addressable assay regions. The designed chip has more than 120 cell trap and analysis areas, can expose cells to two different drugs or drug combinations (with 8 different dilutions) with 8 replicates for each drug condition. The device will be adapted to fit a 96 well plate so that it can be streamline into existing process flow. The flow will be driven by pneumatic and gravitational forces and both cell viability and apoptosis analysis will be done. µCAP will enable high throughput drug sensitivity assays on patient tumor samples and help in the determination of personalized treatment regimens and therapy.