Introduction to nanotechnology and microfluidics device fabrication

Faculty Advisor

Jolene Johnson



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Introduction to nanotechnology and microfluidics device fabrication

Nanotechnology is a buzz word, but few people really understand what this word means. Nanotechnology is the study and manipulation of matter on a molecular level. Being able to control and manipulate material on the nanoscale has opened up many new fields of study. In this poster I will first present an overview of nanotechnology applications. In our research we will focus on one particularly exciting application of nanotechnology: isolating and studying single cells in an isolated environment. The purpose for this procedure is to maintain isolation of the cell so that all other variables can be ruled out when determining the effects on those cells. This is important when looking for cures for diseases and understanding the reactions a cell might have. Few of these devices are yet commercially available so they must be designed and made for each specific experiment. Here I will give an overview of the nanofabrication process involved in making these devices. Photolithography is the procedure of nanofabrication; it is used to create a mold. PDMS, a flexible polymer is then poured over the mold, peeled off, and bonded to glass to create sealed microfluidic devices. Nanofabrication is similar to bricklaying as many different layers are added onto a bio chip. This creates tunnel like features on the chip, allowing the cell to be placed into the chip and manipulated. The goal of this poster is to educate the viewer about the general topic of nanotechnology and present an overview of the fabrication process we will use in our research exploring single cell gene expression.