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Seminar: Microfluidic Methods in Airway Diseases

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February 6, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm

Yuliang Xue, PhD
Research Associate
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
University of Iowa

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-shortening, genetic disease that affects multiple organs. CF lung disease is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in people with CF. Research on a pig model of CF shows that mucus strands emerging from CF submucosal glands fail to detach from the airway surface, disrupt mucociliary transport, and initiate a cascade of mucus accumulation, infection, inflammation and pathology in CF lungs. Merging microfluidic methods with pulmonary physiology sheds light on the mechanism of defective mucus strands detachment in CF.
Particularly, a microfluidic mucus biochemical analysis reveals that mucus from CF pig submucosal glands is abnormally acidic. A microfluidic model of submucosal gland demonstrates that acidic pH during mucus strand formation prevents mucus strand stretch and breakage, impairing mucociliary transport. A trachea-on-a-chip study further reveals that changing pH on the apical surface of CF airways does not improve mucus strand clearance. These findings suggest that submucosal glands are key to mucociliary transport, airway host defense, and have important implications for potential treatments of airway diseases.

Yuliang Xie, Ph.D., is a research associate at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Iowa. He received his B.S. degree (2007) in Biological Engineering and M.S. degree (2010) in Biochemical Engineering from Zhejiang University, China. He received his Ph.D. degree (2016) in Chemical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. His pioneering research integrates acoustics, optics for microfluidic manipulation and analysis. By merging engineering with medicine, he developed microfluidic methods to study mucus properties and submucosal gland function in pulmonary diseases. Dr. Xie has co-authored 25+ journal publications with H-index of 18.


February 6, 2020
3:30 pm - 4:20 pm


3655 Seamans Center
Seamans Center
Iowa City, 52242 United States
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Posted on February 3rd, 2020

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