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Physics Colloquium "Nano-Bio Interfacing and Single-Cell Transcriptomics: Innovative New Tools for Biology"
In this presentation, I will describe new experimental platforms recently developed in my laboratory ' a vertical nanowire platform and single-cell sequencing technologies ' and their applications in various biological inquiries. The vertical nanowire platform enables high throughput interrogation and manipulation of living cells by providing multiplexed chemical and electrical interfaces to a cell's interior in a minimally invasive fashion. Using this platform to deliver surface-bound molecules into the cell's cytosol, we have investigated intracellular molecular circuitries that govern immune cells' behavior and studied the origins of clinical heterogeneity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The same platform also enables direct electrical access to brain cells, thus allowing the control and monitoring of neuronal activity in a multiplexed fashion. Finally, we have developed a new pipeline for single-cell transcriptomics and discovered extensive variations between individual immune cells in both the abundance and splicing of RNA transcripts. These examples demonstrate the potential of these new experimental platforms for diverse biological inquiries.