Professor Yoon-Kyoung Cho
Lab-on-a-disc for Precision Medicine
In this presentation, we will introduce our on-going research on “Lab-on-a-disc”, which applies centrifugal force to pump biological fluid such as whole blood or urine to analyze cancer related biomarkers. The lab-on-a-disc systems to isolate and detect liquid biopsy markers such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are developed and tested with clinical samples such as whole blood or urine from cancer patients. First, we will introduce the fluid-assisted separation technology (FAST), which enables ultrafast, uniform, clog-free, and highly efficient filtration with pressure drop much less than in conventional filtration. We used the FAST mechanism for enriching) from whole blood without prior sample treatment and could achieve highly sensitive (>95.9% recovery), selective (~3.0 log depletion of white blood cells), rapid (< 3 mL/min), and label-free enumeration of rare CTCs. Next, we will present a rapid, label-free, and highly sensitive method for EVs isolation and quantification using a lab-on-a-disc integrated with two nanofilters (Exodisc). Urinary EVs from bladder or prostate cancer patients could be automatically enriched within 30 min using a tabletop-sized centrifugal microfluidic system followed by molecular analysis or on-chip ELISA. We believe that this revolutionary method can contribute to accelerate the acceptance of liquid biopsy-based cancer diagnostics as a standard practice in clinical settings.
Yoon-Kyoung Cho is currently a full professor in Biomedical Engineering at UNIST and a group leader in the Center for Soft and Living Matter at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Republic of Korea. She received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999, having obtained her M.S. and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from POSTECH in 1994 and 1992, respectively. She worked as a senior researcher (1999–2008) at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), where she participated in the development of in vitro diagnostic devices for biomedical applications. Since she joined UNIST in 2008, she has been the chair of the school of Nano-Bioscience and Chemical Engineering (2008–2014) and the school of Life Sciences (2014–2015) and the director of World Class University (2009–2013) and BK21 (2013–2015) programs. She is an associate editor of the journal ‘Lab on a chip’ and a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Her research interests range from basic sciences to translational research in microfluidics and nanomedicine. Current research topics include a lab-on-a-disc for the detection of rare cells and extracellular biomarkers, quantitative analysis of single cells, and system analysis of cellular communication. http://fruits.unist.ac.kr