F.Koşar Biology on a Chip:Miniaturization of Cellular&Immunological..
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Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences

Biology on a Chip: Miniaturization of Cellular and Immunological Assays

Fettah Koşar

In the last fifteen years the field of BioMEMS, or biologically active microelectromechanical systems, has seen great strides and been growing exponentially. This trend has started when the benefits of miniaturization became apparent to the life sciences community. Hence, micro- and nanofabrication techniques initially developed for computer chip industry were adopted and modified to manufacture microfluidic systems and tools for biological and biomedical applications.
These miniaturized devices and systems have several advantages over their larger-scale counterparts. Because of their relatively small volumes, they consume much smaller quantities of precious or hazardous reagents than their conventional equivalent devices and techniques, hence reducing the cost of operation or disposal. They are usually modular and can be integrated with other microfabricated devices to be adapted to new applications. Their small sizes and low energy requirements make it possible to incorporate these devices into portable units. They can be manufactured in large batches, thus lowering the production costs. Furthermore, because their dimensions can be comparable to or smaller than a single cell, they have the potential to make high-throughput single-cell studies a reality.
My research interests are in the investigation of biological and biochemical phenomena at the micron and submicron scales, as well as in the design and development of novel microfluidic diagnostic devices, biosensors, and biological and biomedical research tools. This kind of research requires an interdisciplinary approach as well as a proactive collaboration across many diverse academic disciplines.
In my presentation, I will summarize the BioMEMS-related research I have done and collaborated in the last six years at the University of Washington, which involved the development and fabrication of microfluidic devices for cellular as well as immunological assays. I will also give the audience a brief background on the relevant micro- and nanofabrication techniques.
Turgut Fettah Kosar was born in 1968 in Istanbul, Turkey, where he spent and enjoyed more than the first two decades of his life. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Bogazici University in 1991, he moved to California for graduate studies. In 1993 he received his master’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of California, Davis (UCD). Upon completing a one-year postgraduate research at UCD, he returned to Turkey in 1995 and worked in the industry for over four years. In 1999 he moved to the U.S. again, this time to Washington, in order to get his PhD. He earned his master’s degree in Bioengineering at the University of Washington (UW) in 2002. In 2005 he completed his PhD in Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (dual degree program) at UW and also received his Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate from UW Business School. In addition to his multi-disciplinary education and research background, Fettah has broad experience in leadership positions. In 2003-04, he served as the elected president of the Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Student Association (NaNSA) at the University of Washington, during which he spearheaded many new events and initiatives as well as a new seminar course. He has been previously involved with two early-stage biomedical start-ups in Seattle as a co-founder. Fettah is currently a senior fellow in Prof. Paul Yager’s group at UW, working on the design and development of a microfluidic point-of-care system for the rapid and on-the-field diagnosis of life-threatening infectious diseases in third-world countries (funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative). His research interests are in BioMEMS, microfluidics, biochips, biosensors, nanobiotechnology, and lab-on-a-chip devices.

March 31, 2006, 13:40, FENS G035