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Abstract: The field of system dynamics and controls has made enormous impacts in automotive systems, aerospace, data storage, and robotics, and is now playing similarly transformative roles in addressing important challenges in biology and medicine. Combining dynamics and control technologies with micro- and millifluidic platforms provides unique tools for (1) probing spatiotemporal dynamics in complex biological systems and (2) facilitating the process of synthesizing nanomaterials. This talk will present two examples of such multidisciplinary work. The first example is the investigation of molecular, cellular, and tissue-level dynamics in a Xenopus embryonic tissue in space and time, where our control system accommodates extreme timescales of dynamic response from milliseconds to hours. This study reveals how morphogenetic processes integrate spatiotemporal patterns of stimulation and how intercellular signals are transmitted across multiple cells. The second is the controlled formulation of multifunctional nanomaterials with high productivity and reproducibility, demonstrating an approximately 1000X improvement over previous microfluidic approaches. Our single microfluidic device enables effective assembly of multicomponent nanomaterials including therapeutic and diagnostic lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles and high-density lipoprotein-derived nanomaterials. These examples illustrate our approach integrating biology and nanotechnology with system dynamics and controls, which is critical for developing microsystems that mimic the structure and function of human organs and for establishing scale up manufacturing lines of multifunctional nanomaterials for translation of nanomedicines from the lab to the clinic.
About the Speaker: Tony Kim is a Postdoctoral Associate at Prof. Robert Langer's group in the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he develops microsystems that mimic vascular endothelial barrier functions and that synthesize multifunctional nanomaterials. He received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2011. His doctorate research focused on integration of microfluidic systems with feedback control theory for lab-on-a-chip applications to biochemistry and developmental biology. He received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Seoul National University. Before joining Carnegie Mellon, he had been a researcher in areas of dynamics, controls, and robotics at R&D Divisions of Hyundai-Kia Motors and Samsung Electronics for 6 years. He has authored multidisciplinary research articles in major journals including Nano Letters, JACS, PLoS ONE, Lab on a Chip, and IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology. He has filed over 20 patent applications worldwide (including 8 US patents), won Dowd-ICES Predoctoral Fellowship and Dean's Fellowship from Carnegie Mellon, and consulted for biomedical companies.