Faculty and Staff
|Title:||Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
|Department:||Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering and Computing
301 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208
Experience and Education
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Univ. of South Carolina, 2018-Present
Assistant Research Scientist, The Biodesign Inst., Arizona State Univ., 2016-2018
Postdoctoral Fellow, Houston Methodist Research Institute, 2013-2016
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Florida International University, 2013
B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, China, 2007
Project 1: Point-of-care diagnostics for resource-limited settings.
Nanopores are capable of ultrasensitive quantitation of single proteins/peptides, and thus permit monitoring of low-abundance circulating biomarkers. The goal of this project is to develop a portable in vitro diagnostics assay using Nanopore technology for rapid diagnosis and treatment monitoring of infectious diseases (e.g. Tuberculosis, HIV) in resource-limited and high-burden areas. For future clinical translation, we are working with clinicians to validate the assay’s performance on (1) detection of active Tuberculosis; and (2) risk assessment of HIV maternal-fetal transmission.
Project 2: Translational biomarkers and biosensors to enable personalized medicine.
Most cell types abundantly secrete extracellular vesicles (EVs), including tumor cells that usually show increased EV secretion levels. Similar to cells, EVs are composed of a lipid bilayer and can contain all the molecular components of a cell, such as proteins, lipids, RNA and DNA fragments that reflect the phenotypic state of their cell of origin. These biomolecules are excellent candidates for diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. Our work has been focused on isolation of circulating EVs using nanomaterials and microfluidics based technologies, and identification of novel proteomics/genomics biomarkers inside them to enable early detection and personalized treatment regimens for cancer patients.
Project 3: Nanostructure-based tools for fundamental biochemical studies. Generic biosensing platforms for fundamental biochemical studies can inform medical and pharmaceutical research. We are developing nanostructure-based localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) biosensors to study biomolecule interactions. Nanostructures covered with lipid bilayers can mimic bacteria/cell membranes, possess similar two-dimensional fluidity, and be readily engineered to contain specific lipids and proteins. LSPR signal from such nanostructures can indicate the binding kinetics of biomolecules and lipid bilayers, with potential applications for drug development and drug-resistance studies.
Liu, C., Zhao, Z., Fan, J., Lyon, C.J., Wu, H.J., Nedelkov, D., Zelazny, A.M., Olivier, K.N., Cazares, L.H., Holland, S.M., Graviss, E.A., and Hu, Y., Quantification of circulating Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen peptides allows rapid diagnosis of active disease and treatment monitoring. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A, 114, 3969–3974 (2017). Highlighted by the New England Journal of Medicine Journal Watch.
Liu, C., Lyon, C.J., Bu, Y., Deng, Z., Walters, E., Li, Y., Zhang, L., Hesseling, A.C., Graviss, E.A., and Hu, Y., Clinical evaluation of a blood assay to diagnose paucibacillary tuberculosis via bacterial antigens. Clin. Chem., 64, (2018). Featured as cover.
Liu, C., Alwarappan, S., Badr, H.A., Zhang, R., Liu, H., Zhu, J.J., and Li, C.Z., Live cell integrated surface plasmon resonance biosensing approach to mimic the regulation of angiogenic switch upon anti-cancer drug exposure. Anal. Chem., 86(15), 7305-7310 (2014).
Liu, C., Lei, T., Ino, K., Matsue, T., Tao, N.J., and Li, C.Z., Real-time monitoring biomarker expression of carcinoma cells by surface plasmon resonance biosensors. Chem. Commun., 48, 10389–10391 (2012). Featured as cover.
Liu, C., Balsamo, V., Sun, D., Naja, M., Wang, X., Rosen, B., and Li, C.Z., A 3D localized surface plasmon resonance biosensor for the study of trivalent arsenic binding to the ArsA ATPase. Biosens. Bioelectron., 38, 19-26 (2012).