Microfabrication techniques or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that have revolutionized the electronics industry are now poised to revolutionize the pharmaceutical &biotechnology industries, &basic biomedical sciences. The two leading applications of microfabrication in biology include "genes-on-a-chip" to monitor the expression level of potentially all genes in humans &organisms simultaneously, &"lab-on-a-chip" type devices to perform high-throughput biochemistry in very small volumes. Equally exciting is recent advances in the understanding of cellular behavior in microenvironments have started to pave the way towards living micro-devices. The emerging integration of living systems &MEMS are expected to become key technologies in the 21st century of medicine with a broad range of applications varying from diagnostic, therapeutics, cell-based high-throughput drug screening tools, &basic &applied cell biology tools. The mission for the proposed NIH BioMEMS Resource Center is to bridge the gap between MEMS engineering &biomedical community to provide new technologies at the interface of MEMS &living biological systems to biomedical investigators &clinicians. In order to make the tools of BioMEMS available to the biomedical community, we focused our efforts on 2 core technological research &development projects. In Core Project 1, we will use inertial microfluidic technology for high-throughput &precise microscale control of cell &particle motion for sorting &analysis of disease specific "rare" cells in blood. In Core Project 2, we will develop broad utility "living cell array" platforms to study the dynamics of cellular &tissue response to a multitude of stimuli. Also, there are 23 collaborative projects that both utilize &help advance the core technologies. The BMRC also provides services to NIH investigators to use the tools of microsystems technology in biology &medicine. The Core, Collaborative, &Service activities are complemented with a rich portfolio of training &dissemination activities. Our collaborators &service users are extremely well-funded NIH investigators. The training activities include ad-hoc training, laboratory courses, &workshops. The dissemination activities are very broad encompassing publications, presentations, web presence, symposia &meetings, visiting faculty program, &technology transfer. We have also been very successful in disseminating our technologies through licensing &spin-off commercialization and the use of MEMS foundries for manufacturing of microchips. BMRC has been very successful in developing cutting-edge, enabling technologies at the Interface of MEMS &biology, &disseminating these technologies to the biomedical community via collaborations, service activities, &organized training &dissemination programs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BST-R (40))
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Hunziker, Rosemarie
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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