Office of Undergraduate Research

Engineering Microfluidic Device for Mixing Experimentation

Microfluidics deals with the behavior, manipulation, and precise control of fluids at the microscopic level. It is a multi-disciplinary field that combines engineering, chemistry, physics, nanotechnology and biotechnology, and is gaining recognition in academia and industries across the world. In these devices, or lab-on-a-chip systems, various procedures for the analysis of chemical and biological molecules, i.e. mixing, pretreatment, separation, and identification, are integrated. This technology can improve medical practices and would enhance research in nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics, genetics, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, water quality and environmental monitoring.

Focus will be on the effects of laminar flow; how to perturb laminar flow using an array of objects that vary in dimension, shape, orientation, and position within microfluidic channel. Interest in engineering and physics with an emphasis on learning experiments of fluid dynamics is highly recommended. Fabrication of microfluidic devices will involve PDMS and silicon wafer molds. Microfluidic devices are extremely small and require an acute attention to detail and a high level of precision to create. Device channels vary in size but are usually between 100µm - 500µm. To help give scale, human hair is 100µm in diameter on average. A single pixel on your computer monitor is about 350 µm2.

This project is located at the School of Freshwater Sciences: 600 E. Greenfield Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53204

***Campus Shuttle Service to The School of Freshwater Sciences is now available!***

Tasks and responsibilities:

The student's job will be literature survey, fabrication of the microfluidic device, simulation and making precise measurements using developed devices. The specific topic will be determined in interview.