Microfluidics: A Lab on a Chip

Faculty Advisor

Jolene Johnson



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Microfluidics: A Lab on a Chip

When people think of science labs, they picture those shown on television or in movies with mad scientists causing explosions, or even petri dishes full of deadly viruses. However, there is an entire field being explored where single cells live in their own tiny chambers, eliminating extra space, and entire experiments can be shrunk down to fit in a person’s pocket. With this poster, we explain many of the concepts and materials behind this tiny science. First we explore the physics principles behind the behavior of fluids on a micro scale. Next we discuss the materials used in these devices. Poly(dimethylsiloxane), or PDMS, is the common material used in building channels that allow for laminar fluid flow and cell habitation. Finally we discuss the importance of modeling and the initial experiments we have done in this area. When designing these devices, the first step is modeling, which allows us to understand how fluid flows through our devices, and how this affects cell growth. A brief introduction to Comsol multiphysics modeling software is given. Understanding these concepts helps use reach our ultimate goal of studying cells in individual environments which will facilitate further studies in gene expression, virus regulation, and many other areas.