Maurizio GULLO, Dr.

eujo_Gullo.jpg Host Laboratory


Position in LIMMS

EUJO-LIMMS Researcher (EPFL)

Main Research Topic in LIMMS Advanced-MEMS - Towards single cell heat shock protein expression by means of hydrodynamic trapping 
Keywords Single cell, Hydrodynamic trapping, Heat shock protein, Cancer

Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan 
Phone:+81 (0)3 5452 6036 / Fax:+81 (0)3 5452 6088


EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
Institute of Microengineering, EPFL STI IMT LMIS-1, BM 3202 Station 17
CH - 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Direct : +41-21-693.65.73 / Sec : +41-21-693.59.01 (S. Eggli)

E-mail  g-mauri [at]
Download icon_pdf.gifAbstract2013_MGullo.pdf

Research Projects in Limms

Context :

Heat shock proteins (HSPs) can be found in most living cells, ranging from simple eukaryotic organisms to humans. Their expression is increases when the cells are exposed to environmental stresses; e.g. increased temperature, infections and toxins. HSPs are playing an important role in the cells own repair mechanism.[1] Currently biomedical researchers are invesigating the use of HSPs for producing highly efficient anticancer vaccinations as well as for anticancer inhibitor agents. [2]

Objectives :

The study of HSP expression is often based on a temperature induced stress. Usual experiments are performed under thermostat and isothermal heating of the cell culture. However, understanding single cell mechanisms would require local and short time heating experiments. A precise positioning of isolated cells is therefore mandatory. Such lab on chip micro systems might contribute in the quest of finding novel and efficient anticancer therapies.

Methods :

We propose to approach the mentioned challenge by hydrodynamically trapping the cells. The trap will have an incorporated heater. By this method it might be possible to precisely trap cells and conduct localized heat experiments.

Results :

The hydrodynamic trap has been designed [3] and fabricated using standard PDMS molding techniques. First trapping experiments showed a high trapping efficiency. Figure one shows the finished microfluidic device in an optical setup. Figure 2 shows a successfully trapped 5µm fluoresceent bead. gulloM01.jpg

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References and Publications

[1] S. Dai, L. Jiang, G. Wang, X. Zhou, X. Wei, H. Cheng, Z. Wu and D. Wei, J Cell Mol Med 14 (3), 710-725 (2010).
[2] A. Sharma, A. S. Meena and M. K. Bhat, Cancer Sci 101 (5), 1186-1193 (2010).
[3] M. R. Gullo, L. Jacot-Descombes, J. Brugger, 7th Annual IEEE International Conference on Nano/Micro Engineered and Molecular Systems, 2012, Kyoto, Japan, 2011.


Maurizio R. Gullo, Ryohei Ueno, Yuan Pang, Nobuyuki Takama, Yasuyuki Sakai, Beomjoon Kim and Jürgen Brugger: Towards Single cell level heat shock protein expression by means of hydrodynamic trapping and local heating, MFHS-2012 conference (1st. International conference on MicroFluidic Handling Systems), Enschede, The Netherlands, 10-12 Oct., 2012 (Best poster award).

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