Graduate Seminar with Renyuan Yang: Micro-Nanotechnology Platforms for Monitoring Neural Cell Secretion and Culturing Neurospheroids


December 1, 2021    
1:10 pm - 2:00 pm


3043 ECpE Building Addition
Coover Hall, Ames, Iowa, 50011

Event Type

Speaker: Renyuan Yang, ECpE Graduate Student

Advisor: Long Que

Title: Micro-Nanotechnology Platforms for Monitoring Neural Cell Secretion and Culturing Neurospheroids

Abstract: As the aging population becomes a growing global trend, more and more people are affected by neurodegenerative disorders (ND). Understanding the behaviors of neural cells and establishing in vitro brain models are critically important for exploring potential treatments. My research work consists of two parts: (1) an optical thin-film biosensor has been developed to study the magnetic simulation (MS) effect on the secretion of glial-cell derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) from N27 cells. The sensor consists of nanopore thin film, the surface of which is functionalized with GDNF antibodies. This type of nanosensor offers significantly improved limit of detection for GDNF and good specificity. We found that the MS can promote GDNF secretion from N27 cells. (2) A microfluidic platform has been developed to culture promising in vitro brain models on chip. Specifically, Comsol Multiphysics is used to design and simulate the microfluidic chip, which is then fabricated by soft lithography. Rat adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells (AHPCs) are used as cell models, which can proliferate, differentiate, and eventually develop into neurospheroids in the chip. This chip allows on-chip study of cell viability, proliferation, and neuronal differentiation. Our work shows the feasibility to culture AHPC neurospheroid as a suitable in vitro brain model on chip.

Bio: Renyuan Yang got a bachelor’s degree at Jilin University in China and then a master’s degree of electrical engineering at West Virginia University. He is now a PhD student in electrical engineering at Iowa State University. His research work focused on optical thin-film biosensors and microfluidic devices. He is interested in MEMS and microfabrication processes.