Jeng-Hao Pai

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (10)39.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A microengineered array to sample clonal colonies is described. The cells were cultured on an array of individually releasable elements until the colonies expanded to cover multiple elements. Single elements were released using a laser-based system and collected to sample cells from individual colonies. A greater than an 85% rate in splitting and collecting colonies was achieved using a 3-dimensional cup-like design or "microcup". Surface modification using patterned titanium deposition of the glass substrate improved the stability of microcup adhesion to the glass while enabling minimization of the laser energy for splitting the colonies. Smaller microcup dimensions and slotting the microcup walls reduced the time needed for colonies to expand into multiple microcups. The stem cell colony retained on the array and the collected fraction within released microcups remained undifferentiated and viable. The colony samples were characterized by both reporter gene expression and a destructive assay (PCR) to identify target colonies. The platform is envisioned as a means to rapidly establish cell lines using a destructive assay to identify desired clones.
    The Analyst 10/2012; · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A method to select and separate viable cells based on the results of a cell-lethal assay was developed. Cells were plated on an array of culture sites with each site composed of closely spaced, releasable micropallets. Clonal colonies spanning multiple micropallets on individual culture sites were established within 72 h of plating. Adjacent sites were widely spaced with 100% of the colonies remaining sequestered on a single culture site during expansion. A laser-based method mechanically released a micropallet underlying a colony to segment the colony into two genetically identical colonies. One portion of the segmented colony was collected with 90% efficiency while viability of both fractions was 100%. The segmented colonies released from the array were fixed and subjected to immunofluorescence staining of intracellular phospho-ERK kinase to identify colonies that were highly resistant or sensitive to phorbol ester-induced activation of ERK. These resistant and sensitive cells were then matched to the corresponding viable colonies on the array. Sensitive and resistant colonies on the array were released and cultured. When these cultured cells were reanalyzed for phorbol ester-induced ERK activity, the cells retained the sensitive or resistant phenotype of the originally screened subcolony. Thus, cells were separated and collected based using the result of a cell-lethal assay as selection criteria. These microarrays enabling clonal colony segmentation permitted sampling and manipulation of the colonies at very early times and at small cell numbers to reduce reagent, time, and manpower requirements.
    Analytical Chemistry 01/2011; 83(1):278-83. · 5.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an efficient, yet inexpensive, approach for isolating viable single cells or colonies from a mixed population. This cell microarray platform possesses innovations in both the array manufacture and the manner of target cell release. Arrays of microwells with bases composed of detachable concave elements, termed microrafts, were fabricated by a dip-coating process using a polydimethylsiloxane mold as the template and the array substrate. This manufacturing approach enabled the use of materials other than photoresists to create the array elements. Thus microrafts possessing low autofluorescence could be fabricated for fluorescence-based identification of cells. Cells plated on the microarray settled and attached at the center of the wells due to the microrafts' concavity. Individual microrafts were readily dislodged by the action of a needle inserted through the compliant polymer substrate. The hard polymer material (polystyrene or epoxy resin) of which the microrafts were composed protected the cells from damage by the needle. For cell analysis and isolation, cells of interest were identified using a standard inverted microscope and microrafts carrying target cells were dislodged with the needle. The released cells/microrafts could be efficiently collected, cultured and clonally expanded. During the separation and collection procedures, the cells remained adherent and provided a measure of protection during manipulation, thus providing an extremely high single-cell cloning rate (>95%). Generation of a transfected cell line based on expression of a fluorescent protein demonstrated an important application for performing on-chip cell separations.
    Lab on a Chip 11/2010; 10(21):2917-24. · 5.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell microarrays with culture sites composed of individually removable microstructures or micropallets have proven benefits for isolation of cells from a mixed population. The laser energy required to selectively remove these micropallets with attached cells from the array depends on the microstructure surface area in contact with the substrate. Laser energies sufficient to release micropallets greater than 100 μm resulted in loss of cell viability. A new three-dimensional culture site similar in appearance to a table was designed and fabricated using a simple process that relied on a differential sensitivity of two photoresists to UV-mediated photopolymerization. With this design, the larger culture area rests on four small supports to minimize the surface area in contact with the substrate. Microtables up to 250 × 250 μm were consistently released with single 10-μJ pulses to each of the four support structures. In contrast, microstructures with a 150 × 150-μm surface area in contact with the substrate could not be reliably released at pulse energies up to 212 μJ. Cassie-Baxter wetting is required to provide a barrier of air to localize and sequester cells to the culture sites. A second asset of the design was an increased retention of this air barrier under conditions of decreased surface tension and after prolonged culture of cells. The improved air retention was due to the hydrophobic cavity created beneath the table and above the substrate which entrapped air when an aqueous solution was added to the array. The microtables proved an efficient method for isolating colonies from the array with 100% of selected colonies competent to expand following release from the array.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 11/2010; 398(6):2595-604. · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2010; 98(3). · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arrays of releasable micropallets with surrounding walls of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were fabricated for the patterning and sorting of adherent cells. PEG walls were fabricated between the SU-8 pallets using a simple, mask-free strategy. By utilizing the difference in UV-transmittance of glass and SU-8, PEG monomer was selectively photopolymerized in the space surrounding the pallets. Since the PEG walls are composed of a cross-linked structure, the stability of the walls is independent of the pallet array geometry and the properties of the overlying solution. Even though surrounded with PEG walls, the individual pallets were detached from the array by the mechanical force generated by a focused laser pulse, with a release threshold of 6 microJ. Since the PEG hydrogels are repellent to protein adsorption and cell attachment, the walls localized cell growth to the pallet top surface. Cells grown in the microwells formed by the PEG walls were released by detaching the underlying pallet. The released cells/pallets were collected, cultured and clonally expanded. The micropallet arrays with PEG walls provide a platform for performing single cell analysis and sorting on chip.
    Lab on a Chip 06/2008; 8(5):734-40. · 5.75 Impact Factor
  • Jeng-Hao Pai
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    ABSTRACT: Photoresist plays an important role in microfabrication. There are many photoresists in use for a variety of present applications such as: electroplating, electroforming, microelectrical mechanical systems (MEMS), and even biological MEMS. However, there are many limitations for processing and usage due to intrinsic material properties, especially for multi layer devices and biological applications. In this study, a novel photopatternable 1002F and its properties has been intensively investigated for its applications in MEMS and BioMEMS. The use of 1002F as structure material, sacrificial layer, beam material, microfluidics channel material, physical transferable carriers has been demonstrated. The properties such as easy to remove, flexible, good adhesion, biocompatible and low autofluorescence make 1002F become a very high potential material for widespread applications. Relative to SU-8, 1002F photoresist offers substantial improvements as a substrate in MEMS and BioMEMS devices and is likely to find more applications.
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    ABSTRACT: The negative photoresist SU-8 has found widespread use as a material in the fabrication of microelectrical-mechanical systems (MEMS). Although SU-8 has been utilized as a structural material for biological MEMS, a number of SU-8 properties limit its application in these bioanalytical devices. These attributes include its brittleness, nonspecific adsorption of biomolecules, and high fluorescence in the visible wavelengths. In addition, native SU-8 is a poor substrate for cellular adhesion. Photoresists composed of resins with epoxide side groups and photoacids were screened for their ability to serve as a low-fluorescence photoresist with sufficient resolution to generate microstructures with dimensions of 5-10 microm. The fluorescence of structures formed from 1002F photoresist (1002F resin combined with triarylsulfonium hexafluoroantimonate salts) was as much as 10 times less fluorescent than similar SU-8 microstructures. The absorbance of 1002F in the visible wavelengths was also substantially lower than that of SU-8. Microstructures or pallets with an aspect ratio as high as 4:1 could be formed permitting 1002F to be used as a structural material in the fabrication of arrays of pallets for sorting adherent cells. Several different cell types were able to adhere to native 1002F surfaces, and the viability of these cells was excellent. As with SU-8, 1002F has a weak adhesion to glass, a favorable attribute when the pallet arrays are used to sort adherent cells. A threshold, laser pulse energy of 3.5 microJ was required to release individual 50 microm, 1002F pallets from an array. Relative to SU-8, 1002F photoresist offers substantial improvements as a substrate in bioanalytical devices and is likely to find widespread use in BioMEMS.
    Analytical Chemistry 12/2007; 79(22):8774-80. · 5.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A host of technologies exists for the separation of living, nonadherent cells, with separation decisions typically based on fluorescence or immunolabeling of cells. Methods to separate adherent cells as well as to broaden the range of possible sorting criteria would be of high value and complementary to existing strategies. Cells were cultured on arrays of releasable pallets. The arrays were screened and individual cell(s)/pallets were released and collected. Conventional fluorescence and immunolabeling of cells were compatible with the pallet arrays, as were separations based on gene expression. By varying the size of the pallet and the number of cells cultured on the array, single cells or clonal colonies of cells were isolated from a heterogeneous population. Since cells remained adherent throughout the isolation process, separations based on morphologic characteristics, for example cell shape, were feasible. Repeated measurements of each cell in an array were performed permitting the selection of cells based on their temporal behavior, e.g. growth rate. The pallet array system provides the flexibility to select and collect adherent cells based on phenotypic and temporal criteria and other characteristics not accessible by alternative methods.
    Cytometry Part A 11/2007; 71(10):866-74. · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is currently increasing interest in using SU-8 photoresist to build microstructures for micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). This report describes an effective bench-top method to modify the surface properties of SU-8 photoresist. This strategy relies on the residual epoxide groups present on the surface of SU-8 following fabrication. These epoxide groups are converted into hydroxyl groups by oxidation with a high concentration of cerium(IV) ammonium nitrate (CAN) and nitric acid. Subsequently the surface hydroxyl groups are used as initiation sites for graft polymerization catalyzed by CAN in the presence of acid. A number of water-soluble polymers including poly(acrylic acid), poly(acrylamide), poly(ethylene glycol) were successfully grafted onto SU-8. The presence of surface-linked polymers was confirmed by contact angle measurements, attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and toluidine blue adsorption. This method was particularly useful for tailoring the surface properties of complex or enclosed microstructures, for example, microfluidic channels. In addition the grafted polymers could serve as sites for high density protein immobilization or cell attachment on Bio-MEMS.
    Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 07/2007; 17(7):1371-1380. · 1.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

103 Citations
39.33 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2012
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Department of Chemistry
      North Carolina, United States
  • 2008
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 2007
    • University of California, Irvine
      • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
      Irvine, California, United States