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  • BioE Seminar (4/25): Surface Analysis for Biomedical Problems: Overview and Cutting-Edge Applications

    BioE Seminar | Thursday April 25 | 12:30  – 1:20 p.m. |  Johnson Hall Room 102


    Lara J. Gamble, Ph.D.

    Research Associate Professor

    NESAC/BIO Associate Director



    Modern biomaterials are synthesized specifically for biomedical and biological applications often with specifically designed surface chemistries.  Whether a nanoparticle for drug delivery or cancer detection, a stent (or other implant), or a biosensor to detect specific biological profiles, these biomaterials are designed with intrinsically complex surface chemistries including specific molecular orientation and topographical feature distributions in an effort to produce a desired biological response.  However, it is difficult to uniquely determine the exact chemistry at the surface (i.e. top ~ 20Å).   Advances are being made in biomedical surface analysis instrumentation, experimental techniques, and data analysis methods to provide more detailed information about the surface of these biomaterials.   This information is essential for understanding and exploiting the relationship between surface properties and biological performance of biomaterials, biomedical devices, and biosensors.  Here I will highlight the capabilities of surface analysis as applied to gain a better understanding of DNA microarrays.  Then I will summarize some more cutting edge work with the surface analysis technique time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) for sub-cellular resolution imaging mass spectral analysis of cell and tissue samples. The ToF-SIMS studies are being used for better understanding and diagnosing biological processes such as tumor microenvironments and lipid metabolomics in relationship to cancer



    Lara J. Gamble is currently a Research Associated Professor in the department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington and has been on the faculty at UW since 2004.  She received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from UCSC (1990) and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Washington (1996) with Prof. Charles Campbell studying organofunctionalization of oxide surfaces.   She did her postdoctoral research at the National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical research (1997-2000) then worked at Zyomyx, Inc., a biotech startup in Fremont, CA, on surface chemistry and analysis for protein and DNA biosensor applications before returning to the University of Washington.  Her current research interests still include biosensor development and analysis, but her primary research focus is in designing better tools and methods for sub-cellular 3D molecular imaging mass spectrometry.