Sandia National Labs Academic Alliance Collaboration Report 2020-2021


Ramdane Harouaka

Ramdane Harouaka, Sandia microfluidics engineer in biotechnology and bioengineering, has influenced pharmacology and personalized therapeutics for cancer patients through his work in biomedical engineering. His research interests include microfluidics/micro-electro- mechanical systems as enabling platform technologies, single cell resolution analysis, and biosensing.

that can occur within a complex microbiome. This type of collection is ineffective because it averages interactions between cells across time and organisms and obscures the information needed to understand stability or progression of signatures that would differentiate pathogenic activity from non-harmful interactions. More recent barcoding strategies have enabled high-throughput processing of single human cells for RNA sequencing, but they don’t effectively capture RNA from bacteria and other microbes. A team of researchers at Sandia Labs and U of Illinois are developing a versatile platform to allow for the examination of wide varieties of multiorganism pairings within microbiome systems at single-cell resolution. Their proposed innovation is to develop new biochemistries for RNA-sequencing library preparation that will allow simultaneous amplification from microbes and host cells, while avoiding undesirable sequences from ribosomal RNA. The team hypothesizes that this method will allow amplification of the entire transcriptomes from both species of a cell-microbe pair, which is unprecedented. This new protocol is compatible with easily fabricated microfluidic platforms, which will segregate single cells into separate reaction chambers while also washing away any uninvolved microbes that are not internalized

or directly attached. “Through this work,” Sandia’s Ramdane Harouaka said, “researchers will better understand the role of the microbiome in modulating immunity and susceptibility to infection and drive fundamental research relevant to national security, public health, and bioenergy applications.”


2020-2021 Collaboration Report

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