Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Zohar specializes in the development of microfluidic systems for bio/chemical/medical applications. He develops various technologies and devices, in collaboration with colleagues across several disciplines, to contribute to the understanding and cure of cancer. This includes development of surface chemistry technology to immobilize surface ligands for specific interaction with membrane receptors identified by colleagues as bio-markers for certain types of cancer such as prostate and breast. The aim is to develop liquid biopsy techniques for the isolation of tumor cells circulating in the blood stream as an early detection of cancer without invasive procedures. They also develop microfluidic systems mimicking blood vessels, i.e. microchannels coated with endothelial cells, where local chemokine gradients can be generated in a controlled manner. The goal is to establish ex-vivo systems for studying cancer metastasis processes such as intravasation and extravasation of circulating tumor cells. These systems can be utilized not only to elucidate the basic mechanisms involved in cancer metastasis, but also to test the efficacy of certain anti-cancer drugs designed to disrupt cell-signaling pathways or utilize nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles.