Pranav soman | post doctoral researcher

Current and
Future Research Work (pdf)

Cell is the fundamental unit of life and investigating
how a cell interacts with its environment is critical
for developing enabling-technologies for regenerative
medicine, stem cell research and disease modeling.
However, to gain a deeper understanding of
cell-environment interactions, the rigid boundaries
between various disciplines, such as engineering,
biology, medicine, and the physical sciences, must be
broken down. I have used my multi-disciplinary
experience in mechanical engineering,
micro/nano-manufacturing, laser-optics, biomaterials and
cell biology, to

develop new ways to use biomaterials, lasers, and
nanotechnologies to interact with, probe, and
manipulate cells using two complementary
approaches. First, from the “outside-in”
perspective
, I build tunable “in-vitro”
systems, which embrace the complexities of the in-vivo
cellular milieu. Second, from the “inside-out”
perspective
, I probe single cells from the
inside, by either cutting/ablating intra-cellular
elements or by incorporating and expressing exogenous
genetic materials to direct the internal cellular
machinery.

Outside-in strategy 1

Outside in strategy 2

Cell manipulation using biomimitic
constructs:
Digital Micro-mirror Device based
stereolithography” (DMD-SL) platform can selectively
tune several parameters such as internal architecture,
elastic modulus, resolution, type of biomaterial
(biodegradable Vs non-biodegradable) to develop
scaffolds with a variety of structural, mechanical,
chemical, and biological properties.

Cell manipulation using femtosecond (fs)
laser:
(A) Targeted cell transfection using
an integrated  fs-laser-microfluidic cell
trapping device to genetically modify diverse
demographics of biological targets for
biopharmaceuticals, gene therapy, and biofuel
applications (B) fs-laser induced selective knockdown
of subcellular organelles, ablative severing of
cytoskeletal fibers to investigate functional changes
inside the cell in a micro- and nano-scale 3D
environment.

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