Integrated microfluidic valves for Lab-on-chip applicaiton

Leuven - Master projects/internships
More than two weeks ago

This research aims to address one of the open research domains in microfluidics – fluid isolation – by developing an integrated and efficient microvalve on Imec’s microfluidic platform.

First developed in 1970s, Lab-On-Chip (LOC) devices have gained both academical and commercial interests. With multiple laboratory functions integrated on a single chip, LOC has provided a promising way to reshape the global health system by supplying cheap and reliable medical diagnosis apparatus whenever and wherever they are needed.However, compared to fast-developing CMOS industry where memory and logic components are scaled towards smaller and smaller dimensions, few progresses have been made in scaling medical diagnosis devices into portable manners. One of the main obstacles is that current techniques for fluid pumping, isolation and analysis require components based on different physics, made on different platforms and packaged in different formats. This research aims to address one of the above challenges – fluid isolation – by developing an integrated and efficient microvalve on Imec’s microfluidic platform. The developed microvalve should be leakage tight and have fast switching speed. It needs to be compatible with rest parts of the system and should show its upscaling potential for mass production.This multidisciplinary topic tackles different aspects and includes the following steps: literature study to obtain a state-of-the-art overview of the field, material screening, device fabrication and characterization. During the project the student will interact with different experts from fields in electronics, biology and materials. Hands-on cleanroom experience and simulations (COMSOL Multiphysics®/ANSYS®) knowledge can be expected. In the end, the student should give a presentation and write a report/thesis. Depending on the results a journal publication should be prepared.

Type of project: Internship, Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: > 6 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Boshen Liang ( and David Cheyns (

Imec allowance will be provided

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