Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Special Topics in Microfluidics: Fall 2010

As a graduate student working on microfluidics field, one should have basic knowledge about the subject matter. I am taking a class on Special Topics on microfluidics this fall (Fall2010). Course is taught by my advisor. It is getting interesting so far.

He has discussed about the fabrication of microchips on glass, polymer etc substrates. I started working on microfluidics from the middle of spring semester this year and have done fabrication of microchips. I may have fabricated nearly 50 microchips till date. Fabrication is one of the very first steps in microfluidics experiments. Among the different fabrication steps for microchips, bonding is the most challenging step and it requires very close attention. I am talking about the microchips fabricated on glass substrate. I have mentioned little bit about this difficulty in my previous post. These days I am successful on bonding. No problem at all. All the chips I have attempted for bonding are good and ready for the further testing.

Bonding is easier on polymer chips than glass chips.

Other topics covered so far are electrophoresis and electroosmosis. These topics are started this week. Finished electrophoresis and electroosmosis is still going on. These are the phenomena which are directly related to my experiments. I have done experiments on micro-chips using electrophoresis principle and suppressing electroosmosis.

I have heard little bit about paper microfluidics in past. This is very interesting and emerging field and in my opinion have very high application in near future. I reminded the instructor about this hoping to get to know more about it. But, he had not planned to cover this topic. He just passed one paper published in Anal Chem by whitesides group in Harvard University.

I will write more in later posts about my experience on microfluidics both on reseach and education.

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