REU: Artificial cell membranes for ultra-pure, high throughput cellular isolation

Grants and Contracts Details


We request an REU Supplement to the existing NSF award CBET-1351531 entitled “CAREER: Artificial cell membranes for ultra-pure, high throughput cellular isolation." The student’s work will directly evaluate the mechanical properties of nanoscale polymer coatings on cells. When normal cells are exposed to pure water, they swell with water due to osmotic pressure and rupture. Our coated cells swell slightly, but are not irreversibly damaged. By determining the mechanical properties of these nanoscale materials, we seek to design coatings to control and limit the expansion of cells during an osmotic challenge. The student is already volunteering in our lab working on osmotic lysis techniques. The students involvement will be to maintain a sample cell population using cell culture, use microcapillary analysis of cell membrane properties, and determine the influence of polymer structure on the deformation of the cell. This work will accelerate our efforts to determine the relationship between polymer design and hypotonic cell isolation.
Effective start/end date7/15/151/31/20


  • National Science Foundation


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