Molecular and Nanoscale Physics

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Physics & Astronomy

Dr Sally Peyman

University Academic Fellow

Molecular and Nanoscale Physics,
School of Physics and Astronomy

Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology,
School of Medicine

Contact details

Room: 8.50a (Physics)
Tel: +44 (0)113 34 3747


Lab on a Chip
Theranostic materials
Single cell analysis
Tumour on chip

Research Interests

Microfluidic technology, also known as Lab on a chip, involves the miniaturisation of fluidic process from bench top macro systems such as beakers and flasks to micron sized channels fabricated in a chip the size of a microscope slide. Miniaturising fluidic process reduces reagent consumption and waste production, whilst increasing the efficiency and speed of reactions. In particular, microfluidic technology lends itself to reactions and assays in which small amount of reagents are used, such as those in biological assays and diagnostics. In addition, fluid in microchannels behaves in a predominantly laminar regime and is there is highly predictable and controllable. Object in microchannels, such as cells or particles, are therefore easy to manipulate and control compared to larger batch systems.

My research interests are in the following areas:

Microfluidics for production and testing of theranostic materials.
Microbubbles are small bubbles of heavy gas that are used as contrast agents for ultrasound. We use microfluidics to build therapeutic architectures onto the bubble surface in order to delivery drugs to specific disease areas in the body, such as tumours.

Microfluidics for single cell analysis.
Tumour heterogeneity is a complex and poorly understood area of cancer biology and is thought to lead to failure in treatment. While Next Generation Sequencing gives invaluable information on the genotype of cancerous cells, little is known about the physical properties or phenotype of the cells and the relationship of these properties to the progression of disease. We use microfluidics to investigate the mechanical, electrical and chemical phenotype of cells on a single cell basis in order to complement NGS and build up a 3D map of tumour heterogeneity to help inform future therapeutic pathways.

Tumour on chip.
The micro-environment of tumours is difficult to reproduce in conventional in vitro models. Microfluidics allows for the growth of cells in microenvironments that much better mimic those found in the body. The control of flow conditions allows for cells to be exposed to different chemical and physical environments in order to rapidly screen candidate therapeutic drugs or to study how changes in local environment effect disease progression.