The Lab for Single-Cell Nanoengineering, and the Institute of Single Cell Engineering (单细胞工程研究所, ISCE), led by Dr. Lingqian Chang（常凌乾）is under Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Biomedical Engineering, respectively. The research in our lab is mainly focused on the innovation of Micro-/Nano- Technology for advances in Single Cell Biochips for gene manipulation and detection.
For Single Cell Gene Manipulation: Traditional approaches for exploring genetic regulation in living cells were limited by the tools functioning in manipulation, delivery, sensing and read-out. Our team developed a core technology, known as 'Nanochannel Electroporation' or 'Nano-electroporation', for the first time during the period 2011-2016, that can concentrate the electric field on the cell membrane, leading to highly safe and precise-localized poration, and expedited molecular delivery into living cells. Assisted with on-chip high throughput cell manipulation, such as, magnetic tweezers (MTs), dielectrophoresis (DEP), and open microfluidics, researchers and clinicians further extend their applications in a wide variety of fields, such as, genetic heterogeneity detection, cell reprogramming, gene editing, cancer cell tracking, live cell sampling, among others. We recently designed a family of self-amplification nano-probes aiming for the study of gene mutations in extremely extremely low copy number. We are able to identify the cellular heterogeneities at single cell level, drug screening and study of genetic dynamics with their impact on cellular behaviors. More recently, we reported in vivo nano-electroporation for directly transfecting gene into skin tissues for purposed clinical applications. We showed that the nanodevices for cell poration brought the field a simple yet efficient tool for on-skin cell reprogramming, gene editing and in vivo modeling.
For single cell gene detection: our lab is working on micro-nano-devices for gene detection and analysis, toward technical translations. Our research are focused on (1) nucleic acid detection. These device has been conducted in clinical trials for diagnosis of infections like COVID-19, TB family, etc., and showed significantly higher performance than its commercial counterparts according to rapid speed, high sensitivity and high specificity; (2) Cell mechanical nano-sensors: which can recognize the receptors on the cell membrane and transduce cellular force into fluorescence signals. The system enables mapping both force and motility of single cell at subcellular resolution, which provides a new route for early cancer prognosis by identifying the heterogeneities of cellular forces. (3) Wearable flexible biosensors for real-time monitoring human physiological parameters, including pH, blood glucose, lactic acid, etc.