Scott Manalis

News + Videos

Manalis Lab microfluidics go with the flow

Researchers in the laboratory of KI faculty member Scott Manalis have developed a new technique to measure how tiny particles are relatively positioned as they flow through a fluidic channel. Using a suspended microchannel resonator, first developed by Manalis and his colleagues in 2007, the researchers vibrate the device’s tiny cantilevers — which behave like oscillating diving boards — at various frequencies simultaneously. By measuring the changes in each frequency as individual particles rapidly flow through the device, Manalis and his colleagues can calculate not only the mass of particles with near-attogram precision (one millionth of a trillionth of a gram) but also the distance between particles, potentially to a resolution of about four nanometers (four millionths of a millimeter). This approach has several applications, including monitoring assembly of engineered nanoparticles with extreme precision as well as studying how cancer cells deform as they metastasize. more...

Manalis Measures Miniscule Masses

KI faculty member Scott Manalis has created a new sensor that can measure weights at the attogram scale, or one millionth of a trillionth of a gram. This work appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and also involves KI faculty members Angela Belcher and Sangeeta Bhatia.

Manalis developed an earlier version of the device, called a suspended microchannel resonator. It measures the mass of living cells as they flow through a narrow channel etched in a tiny silicon cantilever that behaves like a diving board. His team subsequently used it to track the growth and other physical properties of cancer cells such as density, stiffness, and friction. Now, by shrinking the entire system, the researchers have improved its resolution 30-fold. This allows them to weigh small viruses, extracellular vesicles, and nanoparticles to better understand their composition and function. The Manalis team plans to use the new suspended nanochannel resonator for high-precision detection and monitoring of cancer progression and treatment response. For example, glioblastoma tumors secrete large quantities of biological vesicles known as exosomes, and the investigators are using their new device to detect exosomes in blood samples of patients with this type of brain cancer. more...

KI Collaborators Link Cell Growth and Shape Changes


Work by KI faculty members, engineer Scott Manalis and biologist Angelika Amon, appeared in the July 22 issue of Current Biology. The team demonstrated that extended periods of certain changes in cell morphology hamper protein synthesis, mass accumulation, and increase in cell size by inhibiting the TORC1 pathway. more...

New Study Finds Cell Division Linked to Growth Rate

KI researchers' findings suggest that mammalian cells divide when their growth rate reaches a specific threshold, rather than when they reach a critical size as in simpler organisms. The team, including members from the KI, MIT, and Harvard Medical School, adapted a suspended microchannel resonator, which measures cells. They were then able to track cell growth and relate it to the timing of cell division.  The technique is now being used to determine how cell growth changes in response to therapeutic intervention. The report appears in the August 5 online edition of Nature Methods. more...

Microfluidic Chip Used to Measure Single Cell Density

Measuring a cell's physical properties, such as density, buoyancy, or weight, may soon provide useful insights into diverse fundamental cellular processes and might also be useful for identifying and monitoring diseased cells. KI researchers explain the process of measuring single cells in a microfluidics-based suspended microchannel resonator (SMR). more...

Weighing the cell

Using a sensor that weighs cells with unprecedented precision, MIT and Harvard researchers led by KI's Scott Manalis have for the first time measured the rate at which single cells accumulate mass – a feat that could shed light on how cells control their growth and why those controls fail in cancer cells. more...

New NIH EUREKA grant awarded to Koch Institute Faculty Member

New MEMS chip for cell sizing seen as revolutionary science. more...