Welcome to Yoon-Kyoung Cho’s Lab @ UNIST
The main research theme in FRUITS Lab. is focused on the development of lab-on-a-chip system with fundamental understanding of bio-molecular interactions and fluidic behavior in micro/nano scales and its smart implementation by utilizing basic engineering tools. “Lab on a Chip” is an emerging research area where new discoveries and innovations are realized through multidisciplinary thinking and miniaturization to solve today’s most challenging problems in human health, energy and environment. Beyond the classic definition of a device that can integrates multiple laboratory functions on a small sized chip, Lab on a Chip has advanced the fundamental understanding of biological systems, broadened the basic knowledge on the molecular interactions in nano-scales, and translated into innovative designs and engineering of novel materials, devices and processes in order to provide paradigm-shifting solutions to the complex issues in physics, chemistry, biology and bioengineering. It is expected that there will be more and more examples of Lab on a Chip that go beyond chip-scale test devices and provide real impact in clinics and industry.
Currently, three interconnected topics are being investigated. First, we have strong interests and unique capability in development of Fully Integrated Lab-on-a-disc for Biomedical Applications. Even though “Lab-on-a-chip” has emerged as a distinct new field due to the numerous benefits such as reduced time, cost, and human interference and improved performance features, examples of fully integrated systems including sample preparation step have been rare. Using the unique centrifugal microfluidic platform, we have demonstrated fully integrated lab-on-a-disc for pathogen specific DNA extraction, immunoassay, and biochemical analysis starting from whole blood. We plan to further develop high-impact applications integrated on a disc and to achieve in-depth understanding of the centrifugal microfluidic phenomena.
Second, we are broadly interested in Nano Sciences and Technology for Advanced Diagnostics and Environmental Monitoring. Our current work includes carbon MEMS; fabrication of bio-compatible carbon electrodes by using electro-spinning of photo-sensitive polymer and pyrolysis, 3D-Dielectrophoresis; nonconventional types of dielectrophoresis for cell manipulation, and nanochannels on plastic materials; fabrication and surface modification of plastic nanochannels and its novel applications in advanced bioanalysis.
Third, we are actively pursuing a highly interdisciplinary and emerging field of lab-on-a-chip, Novel Microfluidic Tools for Cell Biology. Our current interests are in development of novel devices to enhance the fundamental knowledge on cell to cell communication in cancer, molecular interactions of dendritic cells and cancer cells, and stem cell biology. We micro pattern the cells, control the microenvironment, and analyze the key molecular signals by combining novel microfluidic tools and nano-bio materials to elucidate the fundamental questions in cell biology.
Yoon-Kyoung Cho in Lab on a Chip Blog.
Click to watch the introduction video of Yoon’s laboratory at UNIST.