Stiffness of soft material is traditionally measured by nonportable machines like nano-indentors and atomic force microscopes. We are currently developing a portable probe that can measure sub-kPa stiffness.
We developed a way to quantify the adhesion energy between a soft polymer and a stiff substrate by trapping a glass bead at the interface to form a blister. An analytical model was developed to describe the mechanics. We also developed a computer program (java) to perform analysis on images of the blister to extract the independent variables of the model.
We designed a microfluidic platform that allows us to treat a subcellular region of a tissue sample. Previous methods were limited to suspendable samples with no control on sample positioning. We extended the capability of the methodology to samples that cannot be suspended and devised a way to control the orientation.
We designed a mechanical stretcher where an acute mouse brain slice can be mounted. This way we can study the brain's response to mechanical stimuli in real-time by combining the platform with fluorescence imaging.
3D confocal image stacks are typically processed into a single image by maximum intensity projection. This can lead to distortion of the structures if the imaged sample lies on a curved surface. We created an image processing algorithm (MATLAB) accounting for this artifact.