Tom Bongiorno

Department: George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Graduate Program: BioEngineering

Advisor: Todd Sulchek, PhD

Lab Website

Research Summary:

My research entails measuring changes in single-cell stiffness during differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic lineages and correlating the measured stiffness changes to expression levels of various differentiation biomarkers. 

I am using microfluidic technology to separate mixed cell populations based on differences in cell mechanics. The goal is to purify specific phenotypes during stem cell differentiation to improve directed differentiation efficiency, with future applications to stem cell-based tissue engineering.


I received my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.  In the summer of 2010, I worked at Georgia Tech as a SURF student in the School of Materials Science and Engineering in the lab of Dr. Todd Sulchek.  I have now returned to the Sulchek lab to pursue my Ph.D. in Bioengineering   My current research goals are to characterize the stiffness of stem cells during differentiation and to employ cellular stiffness as a differentiation biomarker to facilitate high-throughput phenotype separation.

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