MTL 2017 Fall Doctoral Dissertation Seminar (DDS) by Dr. Sarvesh Varma


From left to right: Prof. Joel Voldman, Dr. Sarvesh Varma and Prof. Jesus del Alamo.

Atherosclerosis remains the leading cause of death worldwide and requires new models to discover effective therapeutics. Heavily prescribed blood pressure- and cholesterol-lowering drugs largely treat the disease after-effects, but do not treat its root cause. This is dysfunctional cells inside blood vessels that enable plaques. In order to discover potent therapeutics for atherosclerosis, it is essential to emulate the natural cellular microenvironment and the blood-flow profiles that regulate disease progression.

In his talk titled "A Microfluidic System for Modeling Human Atherosclerosis and Pathophysiology", Dr. Varma presented his research on developing a microfluidic system that can emulate human arterial hemodynamics and the cellular microenvironment so as to model human atherogenesis.

Sarvesh invented a microfluidic system that overcomes several withstanding limitations of traditional models, lowers reagent costs, and offers potential for high-throughput studies. It can simultaneously apply programmable spatio-temporal blood-flow signatures observed from patients directly on human endothelial cells- which has not been demonstrated previously. The current biological insight from this device holds substantial promise for discovering novel therapeutics.

Sarvesh conducted his Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Joel Voldman in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He was also guided by Professor Guillermo Garcia-Cardeña (Harvard Medical School), who collaborated on this work. This work was performed at Microsystems Technology Laboratories and Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT and was sponsored by the National Institute of Health.

A video of the seminar can be found in the seminars section of our site.

Congratulations Sarvesh!

--Microsystems Technology Laboratories