Material properties of biological matter
1125 Terasaki Bldg
Dr. Amy Rowat’s lab is interested in the material properties of biological matter, the origins of this behavior and role in physiology. Their research efforts largely focus on the shape and mechanical properties of the cell nucleus: they want to understand the role of nuclear physical and mechanical properties in whole cell mechanics and physiology and ultimately the physical and molecular origins of these properties. Rowat’s multidisciplinary team is addressing these questions by developing and merging methods in physics, engineering, cell and molecular biology. Developing a quantitative framework to understand mechanical transformations in cancer cells could provide a deeper understanding of cell nucleus shape and mechanics, as well as methods for early detection and mechanical-based therapeutic approaches. Amy Rowat is Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology. She is also affiliated faculty with the UCLA Bioengineering Department, the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Broad Stem Cell Research Center.
She completed her undergraduate studies at Mount Allison University, Canada (B.Sc. Honours Physics, 1998; B.A. Asian Studies, French, & Math, 1999) and her graduate work at MEMPHYS – Center for Biomembrane Physics at the Technical University of Denmark (M.Sc. Chemistry, 2000) and the University of Southern Denmark (Ph.D. Physics, 2005). She was a Human Frontiers Cross-Disciplinary Fellow at the Department of Physics/School of Engineering & Applied Science at Harvard University in the laboratory of David Weitz.
Probing single cells using flow in microfluidics, Qi D*, Hoelzle DJ*, Rowat AC (2012) Eur. Phys. J., 204: 85-101. *equal contribution
Abstract: Enabling fluids to be manipulated on the micron-scale, microfluidic technologies have facilitated major advances in how we study cells. In this review, we highlight key developments in how flow in microfluidic devices is exploited to investigate the behavior of individual cells, from trapping and positioning single cells to probing cell deformability. Exploiting the properties of fluids and flow patterns in microchannels makes it possible to study large populations of single cells at micron-length scales with increased throughput and efficiency.
Research category: Experimental probes