2P-3D-SPT in live cells
We use a 2-photon 3-dimensional single-particle tracking (2P-3D-SPT) method termed TSUNAMI to visualize EGFR internalization in live cells (Perillo et al. Nat. Commun. 2015) and to quantify EGFR trafficking (Liu et al. Biophys. J. 2016). This technique was later applied in measuring the anti-PDL1 antibody-induced endocytosis (Li et al. Cancer Cell 2018). More recently, we developed a dual-particle tracking TSUNAMI to monitor the landing of nanoparticles on cells (Liu et al. ACS Nano 2020).
Biophysics of cancer cells
Our work aims to apply physical sciences in oncology for cancer detection. We have developed a physical phenotyping assay named Transmembrane Receptor Dynamics (TReD) and successfully differentiated metastatic cells from non- and less-invasive cells in the breast (Liu, et al. Sci. Rep. 2019) and prostate cancers (Liu et al. Cancers 2019) based on EGFR diffusivities.
Our work in biomimetic scaffolds targets on creating biofunctional constructs to recapitulate tissues. A microfluidic-fabricated scaffold was used to accommodate cells for the desirable morphogenesis of cartilage (Wang et al. Biomaterials 2012) and alveoli (Ling et al. Biomaterials 2014). Our ongoing work is using tissue engineering approaches to develop biomimetic models for the study of tumor microenvironment in vitro.
MSC-derived chondrogenic grafts for repairing cartilage defects
Dr. Liu and collaborators developed mesenchymal stem cell-derived chondrogenic grafts for repairing cartilage defects. The 9-year (Liu et al. Biomolecules 2021) and 2-year follow-ups (Liu et al. Polymers 2021) of two independent clinical trials demonstrated the safety and efficacy of using chondrogenic grafts to repair the cartilage defects at the weight-bearing condyles of knees.