An autonomous active microfluidic system with compact off-the-shelf components

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Building a simple microfluidic set-up with miniature external pumps, valves, sensors and power supply sources

Microfluidics has emerged as a versatile technology for numerous applications in different domains due to its advantageous features such as a small volume of reagents consumed, shortened reaction time, and minimal manual intervention. Although microfluidic chips themselves are significantly small, the functioning of the whole microfluidic system often relies on using external components, i.e., syringe pumps or pressure controllers, valves, flow sensors, a microscope with high speed camera etc. These peripheral instruments are rather bulky and expensive. Such a device should rather be called "chip-in-a-lab" instead of "lab-on-a-chip."

We argue that miniaturization or even in the best case on-chip integration of these external parts would revolutionize many areas of people's life by making, for example, laboratory services accessible for a large number of end-users.

 

This multidisciplinary topic tackles different aspects and includes the following steps:

  • literature study to obtain a state-of-the-art overview of the field,
  • comercial available off-the-shelf components components screening
  • microfluidic circuit design, fabrication and testing
  • final device assembly and caracterization

During the project the student will interact with different experts from fields in electronics, lifescience and microtechnologies. Hands-on cleanroom experience and strong proficiency with CAD software can be expected. In the end, the student should give a presentation and write a report/thesis.


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

Duration: Minimum 6 months

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

Required background: Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Biomedical engineering, Bioscience Engineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Alexey Podkovskiy (Alexey.Podkovskiy@imec.be) and David Cheyns (David.Cheyns@imec.be)

Only for self-supporting students.

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