The Microfluidics and Synthetic Biology Core will provide state-of-the-art technology and expertise for the manufacture and use of high throughput, single-cell data collection devices in the life sciences. The Core will assist users in designing and manufacturing custom microfluidic devices, provide users with the microscopic resources needed to gather high quality, single-cell data, and work closely with the Network Assembly and Mathematical Modeling Core (Research Core C) to help users analyze their data. The Core will accomplish these tasks through four Specific Aims. First, the core aims to rapidly and reliably create experimental tools for users by leveraging a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. It will seek to increase the use of microfluidic devices in the life sciences by developing and distributing easy-to-use, reliable microfluidic devices that are custom made for research needs of users. Second, it will conduct cutting edge microfluidics research into improved devices for novel organisms and laboratory techniques. The Core plans on developing microfluidic devices for isolating and culturing native bacteria from environmental samples, as well as large-scale evolution devices capable of selecting beneficial traits in a population of microbes. Third, it aims to educate members of the life sciences community in the development, production and use of microfluidic devices. It will provide numerous opportunities for Center members to learn microfluidic manufacturing techniques and the necessary experimental skills for using these tools. Fourth and finally, the Core will develop and distribute open source hardware and software for supporting microfluidics research. We will model this effort after our successful dial-a-wave system, which is fully described online in a freely-accessible webpage. Detailed instructions for assembling hardware will be provided as well as made-to-order systems for research groups both in the Center and at other institutions. The Core leader, Dr. Jeff Hasty, and the lab's supervisor, Dr. Michael Ferry, are leaders in the field of synthetic biology and the use of microfluidics tools in the life sciences. Together they will continue their work assisting the research of all investigators interested in exploring these powerful devices.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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University of California San Diego
La Jolla
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