Phone: (206) 685-2257
Office: Foege N430N
UW Bioengineering faculty Albert Folch

Albert Folch

The lab’s long-term mission is to make microfluidic devices as easy to use as smartphones and make them easily available to clinicians in order to enable novel cancer diagnostics and therapies.
3D-Printing & Soft lithography
Digital Manufacturing (CNC milling, Laser Cutting)
The Folch lab uses digital manufacturing techniques (3D-printing, laser cutting) to design microdevices that facilitate the advancement of translational cancer applications. In particular, we develop microfluidic devices to test multiple cancer drugs (and their combinations) on a small, live, and intact tumor biopsy in order to help doctors decide which treatment is most efficacious. Microfluidics is an excellent technological match for the challenge of probing live human tumors because the amount of tissue that is available from human donors is always scarce, and understanding the dynamics of tumor progression requires microscale tools. We are microfluidic!
PhD, Surface Science and Nanotechnology, University of Barcelona, Spain, 1994
Visiting Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, 1990-1991
BS, Physics, University of Barcelona, Spain, 1989
Postdoctoral Associate (Center for Engineering in Medicine), Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1997-2000
Postdoctoral Fellow (Chemistry Dept. and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Dept.), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994-1997
2015 American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows
2013 MicroTAS Executive Technical Program Committee member
2009-present Bringing Art Into Technology (BAIT) outreach art program with numerous exhibits in and outside Seattle.
2006 NASA Space Act Award
2001-2006 NSF CAREER Award
1995-96 Postdoctoral fellowship, Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain
1991-94 Ph.D. Fellowship, Ministry of Science and Education, Spain
1989-1990 Visiting Student Fellowship, Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain
Folch, A. and Toner, M. “Microengineering of Cellular Interactions”, Annual Reviews of Biomedical Engineering, 2: 227 (2000).

Tourovskaia, A., Barber, T., Wickes, B., Hirdes, D., Grin, B., Castner, D. G., Healy, K. E., and Folch, A. Micropatterns of Chemisorbed Cell Adhesion-Repellent Films Using Oxygen Plasma Etching and Elastomeric Masks”, Langmuir 19: 4754 (2002).

Chen, C., Hirdes, D., and Folch, A. “Gray-Scale Photolithography Using Microfluidic Photomasks”, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, 100:1499 (2003).

Li, N., Tourovskaia, A., and Folch, A. “Biology on a Chip: Microfabrication in Cell Culture Studies”, Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering 31: 423 (2003).

Neils, C. M., Tyree, Z., Finlayson, B., and Folch, A. “Combinatorial Mixing of Microfluidic Streams”, Lab On a Chip 4, 342 (2004).

Hsu, C.-H., Chen, C., and Folch, A. “‘Microcanals’ for Micropipette Access to Single Cells in Microfluidic Environments”, Lab On a Chip 4, 420 (2004).

Hoffman, J., Shao, J., Hsu, C.-H., and Folch, A. “Elastomeric Molds with Tunable Microtopography”, Advanced Materials (2004) 16, 2201.

Tourovskaia, A., Figueroa-Masot, X., and Folch, A. “Differentiation-on-a-chip: A Microfluidic Platform For Long-Term Cell Culture Studies”, Lab On a Chip 5, 14 (2005).

Hsu, C.-H. and Folch, A. “Microfluidic Devices with Tunable Microtopographies”, Applied Physics Letters 86, 023508 (2005).

Rettig, J.R. and Folch, A. “Large-Scale Single-Cell Trapping and Imaging Using Microwell Arrays”, Analytical Chemistry77, 5628 (2005)

Li, N. and Folch, A. “Integration of topographical and biochemical cues by axons during growth on microfabricated 3-D substrates”, Experimental Cell Research311, 307 (2005).

T.F. Kosar, Tourovskaia, A., Figueroa-Masot, X., Adams, M., and Folch, A. “A Nanofabricated Planar Aperture as a Mimic of the Nerve-Muscle Contact During Synaptogenesis”, Lab Chip 6, 632 (2006). –> featured in Chemical Biology (top-viewed article in May 2006) and in the Faculty of 1000 Biology .

Tourovskaia, A., T.F. Kosar, and Folch, A. “Local Induction of Acetylcholine Receptor Clustering in Myotube Cultures Using Microfluidic Application of Agrin”, Biophysical Journal 90, 2192 (2006).

Frevert, C.W., Boggy, G., Keenan, T.M., and Folch, A. “Measurement of Cell Migration in Response to an Evolving Radial Chemokine Gradient Triggered by a Microvalve”, Lab on a Chip 6, 849 (2006) –> cited in the cover .

Keenan, T.M., Hsu, C.-H., and Folch, A. “Microfluidic “Jets” for Generating Steady-State Gradients of Soluble Molecules on Open Surfaces”, Applied Physics Letters89, 114103 (2006) –> featured in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology (Vol. 14, Iss. 13) and in the Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research (Vol. 12, Iss. 6) .

Tourovskaia, A., Figueroa-Masot, X. and Folch, A., “Long-term Microfluidic Cultures of Myotube Microarrays for High-Throughput Focal Stimulation”, Nature Protocols1, 1092 (2006).

Chen, C. and Folch, A., “A High-Performance Elastomeric Patch Clamp Chip”, Lab on a Chip (2006), 6, 1338.

Hsu, C.-H. and Folch, A., “Spatiotemporally- Complex Concentration Profiles Using a Tunable Chaotic Micromixer”, Applied Physics Letters 89, 144102 (2006) –> featured in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology (Vol. 14, Iss. 16) .

Lam, E.W., Cooksey, G.A., Finlayson, B.A., and Folch, A., “Microfluidic Circuits with Tunable Flow Resistances”, Applied Physics Letters (2006), 89, 164105 (2006) –> featured in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology (Vol. 14, Iss. 18) .

Keenan, T.M. and Folch, A. “Biomolecular gradients in cell culture systems”, Lab Chip 8: 35-57 (2008) –> Cited in the cover.

Sidorova, J.M., Li, N., Folch, A., and Monnat Jr., R. “The RecQ helicase WRN is required for normal replication fork progression after DNA damage or replication”, Cell Cycle 7, 796 (2008).

Tourovskaia, A., Li, N., and Folch, A., “Localized acetylcholine receptor clustering dynamics in response to microfluidic focal stimulation with agrin”, Biophys. J. 95: 3009 (2008).

Cooksey, G.A., Sip, C.G., and Folch, A., “A Multi-Purpose Microfluidic Perfusion System with Combinatorial Choice of Inputs, Mixtures, Gradient Patterns, and Flow Rates”, Lab Chip 9, 417 (2009).

Sidorova, J.M. Li, N., Schwartz, D.C., Folch, A., and Monnat Jr., R.J. “Microfluidic-assisted analysis of replicating DNA molecules”, Nature Protocols 4: 849 (2009).

Bhattacharjee, N., Li, N., Keenan, T.M., and Folch, A. “A Neuron-Benign Microfluidic Gradient Generator for Studying the Growth of Mammalian Neurons towards Axon Guidance Factors”, Integrative Biology 2, 669 (2010).

Keenan, T.M., Frevert, C.W., Wu, A., Wong, V., and Folch, A. “A New Method for Studying Gradient-Induced Neutrophil Desensitization Based on an Open Microfluidic Chamber”, Lab Chip 10: 116 (2010).

Figueroa, X.A., Cooksey, G.A., Votaw, S.V., Horowitz, L.F., and Folch, A. “Large-Scale Investigation of the Olfactory Receptor Space Using a Microfluidic Microwell Array”, Lab Chip 10: 1120 (2010). ? Cover article.

Ellen Tenstad, Anna Tourovskaia, A. Folch, Ola Myklebost, and Edith Rian, “Extensive adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation of patterned human mesenchymal stem cells in a microfluidic device”, Lab Chip 10: 1401 (2010). ? inner-cover article.

H. Lai and A. Folch, “Design and characterization of “single-stroke” peristaltic PDMS micropumps”, Lab Chip 11, 336 (2011).

Scott, K. Weir, C. Easton, W. Huynh., W.J. Moody, and A. Folch, “A microfluidic microelectrode array for simultaneous electrophysiology, chemical stimulation, and imaging of brain slices”, Lab Chip 13, 527 (2013).

K.W. Moyes, C.G. Sip, W. Obenza, E. Yang, C. Horst, R.E. Welikson, S.D. Hauschka, A. Folch, and M.A. Laflamme, “Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes migrate in response to gradients of fibronectin and Wnt5a”, accepted to Stem Cells and Development (2013).

L.F. Horowitz, A.D. Rodriguez, Z. Dereli-Korkut, R. Lin, K. Castro, A. Mikheev, R.J. Monnat, A. Folch, and R.C. Rostomily, “Multiplexed drug testing of tumor slices using a microfluidic platform”, Nature Precision Oncology, 4: 12 (2020).

A.D. Rodriguez, L.F Horowitz, K. Castro, H. Kenerson, N. Bhattacharjee, G. Gandhe, A.Raman, R.J. Monnat, R.S. Yeung, R.C. Rostomily, and A. Folch, “A Microfluidic Platform for Functional Testing of Cancer Drugs on Intact Tumor Slices”, Lab Chip, 20: 1658 (2020).

L. Horowitz, A. D. Rodriguez, T. Ray, and A. Folch, “Microfluidics for Interrogating Live Intact Tissues”, Microsystems & Nanoengineering, 6: 69 (2020).

L. Horowitz, A. D. Rodriguez, Allan Au-Yeung, Kevin W. Bishop, Lindsey A. Barner, Gargi Mishra, Aashik Raman, Priscilla Delgado, Jonathan T. C. Liu, Taranjit S. Gujral, Mehdi Mehrabi, Mengsu Yang, Robert H. Pierce, and A. Folch, “Microdissected “cuboids” for microfluidic drug testing of intact tissues”, Lab on a Chip, 21: 122 (2021).

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