Conventional microparticle fabrication technologies have had a trade-off between complexity and throughput. We have developed innovative microfluidic approaches to manufacture 3D-shaped microstructured materials at rates orders of magnitude faster than 3D printing technologies. By applying inertial flow sculpting of a polymer precursor using fluid programming techniques entirely new classes of 3D microscale materials can be manufactured. We have also created a software package, called uFlow, to predict 3D-microparticle shape in real-time. New classes of particles should accelerate a range of new material applications where particle microscale shape influences higher-level function of an emergent material. We have also started making use of the aggregate properties of assemblies of microparticles for tissue engineering. We have applied microfluidically-generated hydrogel microspheres that are then covalently linked at their points of contact in situ or within a wound to form a solid contiguous material scaffold with porosity defined by the void spaces between linked gel microspheres. Overall, this approach accelerates wound healing and reduces fibrosis in vivo, bypassing trade-offs present in conventional materials between material porosity, injectability, and mechanics.
Bio: Dino Di Carlo received his B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002 and received a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco in 2006. From 2006-2008 he conducted postdoctoral studies in the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has been on the faculty in the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA since 2008 where he pioneered using inertial fluid dynamic effects for the control, separation, and analysis of cells in microfluidic devices. His work now extends into numerous fields of biomedicine and biotechnology including directed evolution, cell analysis for rapid diagnostics, new amplified molecular assays, next generation biomaterials, and phenotypic drug screening. He co-founded and currently advises four companies that are commercializing UCLA intellectual property developed in his lab over the last six years (CytoVale, Vortex Biosciences, Tempo Therapeutics, and Ferrologix). He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) was elected a Fellow the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and received the Analytical Chemistry Young Innovator Award. He was also awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development award, the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award, the Packard Fellowship and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award. His research was also supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award and Coulter Translational Research Award.