Jones Seminar: Bioinspired Organ Engineering for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics

Shrike Zhang , Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Friday, March 10, 2017, 3:30–4:30pm

Rm. 100 (Spanos Auditorium), Cummings Hall

Organ-on-a-chip systems are microfluidic three-dimensional miniature human organ models that recapitulate the important biological and physiological parameters of their in vivo counterparts. They have recently emerged as a viable platform for personalized medicine and drug screening. These biomimetic organoid models are expected to replace the conventional planar, static cell cultures and to bridge the gaps between the current pre-clinical animal models and the human body. In addition, multiple organoids may be channeled together through the microfluidics in a similar manner they arrange in vivo, providing the capacity to analyze interactions among these organs. Despite the successful development of a wide variety of human organ-on-a-chip models, in situ sensing however, has not been achieved at a sufficient level so far, to enable continuously monitoring of the microenvironmental parameters and the dynamic responses of the organoids towards pharmaceutical compounds over extended periods of time. In this talk, I will discuss our recent efforts on developing a fully integrated multi-organ-on-a-chip platform formed by sophisticated microfluidics and bioengineered organoids in conjunction with modular physical, biochemical, and optical sensing units, which can operate in a continual and automated manner over a lengthy period. This platform technology will likely provide new opportunities in constructing functional organoids with a potential to achieve large-scale automation in the drug screening process. A series of advanced bioprinting strategies will also be discussed to illustrate their applications in engineering biomimetic organoids with a potential extension into clinical therapeutics.

About the Speaker

Dr. Zhang received his PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and M.S. from Washington University in St. Louis in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is currently an Instructor of Medicine and Associate Bioengineer in the Division of Engineering in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and affiliated with Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Dr. Zhang’s research is focused on innovating medical engineering technologies to recreate functional biomimetic tissues, including 3D bioprinting, organs-on-chips, medical devices, biomedical imaging, and biosensing. He is actively collaborating with a multidisciplinary team encompassing biomedical, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineers as well as biologists and clinicians to ultimately translate these cutting-edge technologies into clinics. He has received >20 international, national, or regional awards for recognition of his research excellence. Beyond science, he enjoys nature-watching, traveling, and photography.

For more information, contact Marge Heggison at