College of Science & Engineering
Leveraging expertise in microtechnology, tissue engineering, and quantitative measurements, the Wood lab combines microfluidics with tissue engineering techniques to develop micro-engineered models of disease pathophysiology in vitro, and they develop new assays that facilitate discovery of new mechanisms of disease and new therapeutics. A major focus of this research is to understand the mechanisms of vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease. The group is particularly interested in the biophysical processes such as changes in blood rheology that contribute to vaso-occlusion. They have developed a range of tools and methods to address these questions, including physiologically sized microfluidic channels, tools to regulate blood pressure, methods to finely control blood oxygen, and methods to monitor blood flow in real time. They are also developing methods to model blood vessels in vitro more broadly to understand a variety of hematological and vascular pathologies.
Also among this lab's interests is the dynamic process of tumor progression, many facets of which remain elusive due to limitations in current models. Thus they are developing platforms that allow them to directly study the effect and tumor cell genetics and microenvironmental cues on specific stages of tumor progression.