Fizan Abdullah, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore, Md.
Studying the alveolar capillary membrane at the air/liquid interface of the lung.
In the lung, cells that line up on opposing sides of a basement membrane are subject to micromechanical forces such as respiration and 3-D constraints. Existing pulmonary cell-culture techniques don't model such fluid flow stress.
Inspired by microfluidic liver culture, Abdullah put a handful of bioengineering students to work on a solution. They began by putting a half-dollar-sized PDMS plastic device with four 10 mm-diameter microchannels atop a glass slide, and...