Chang Lu
Fred W. Bull Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Microfluidics for single cell analysis, epigenomics, and precision medicine


Lu Group 2017  
(From left to right): Sai Ma, Franklin Sheng, Qiang Zhang, Bohan Zhu, Chengyu Deng, Yan Zhu, Lynette Naler, Yuan-pang Hsieh, Mimosa Sarma, Travis Murphy, Chang Lu (May 2017).  

Lu Group 2011  
(From left to right): Chang Lu, Travis Murphy, Richard Yu, Yan Zhu, Zhenning Cao, Nelie Loufakis, Chen Sun, Yining Hao, Sai Ma (July 2014).  

Our research is concerned with the new science and technology generated by applying micro/nanofabricated structures and devices to biological studies. One emphasis in our research is to develop high-throughput microfluidic tools to manipulate and analyze single cells and extract biological information. We have developed/invented microfluidic chemical cytometry, Coherent anti-stokes Raman scattering (CARS) flow cytometry, electroporative flow cytometry, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) flow cytometry over recent years for a variety of applications. Another thrust in the group is on developing flow-through electroporation for efficient gene delivery into cells (2011 Nature Protocols). Our ultimate goal is to apply this technique to create genetically modified cells for cancer immunotherapy, stem cell therapy and tissue regeneration.

Our recent interests are in development of microfluidic technologies for ultrasensitive epigenomic analysis in the context of precision medicine. Our previous work demonstrated microfluidic chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-qPCR) assay with ultrahigh sensitivity of 50 cells for detecting histone modification at single loci (compared to 1 million cells with conventional assays). In more recent work, we developed microfluidic oscillatory washing based ChIP-seq (MOWChIP-seq) for genome-wide analysis of histone modification using as few as 100 cells (2015 Nature Methods), compared to 10 million cells with conventional assays. We are applying these sensitive tools to profile epigenomic dynamics during cancer development, inflammation, stem cell differentiation, and brain development.


Recruiting graduate students: interested individuals should contact Dr. Chang Lu by email.