Microfluidic chips have made it possible to manipulate biological fluidic samples in increasingly smaller volumesâ€”even enabling multiplexed study of individual cells. Performing biological assays using microfluidic technology not only makes them more portable when compared to their traditional counterparts, but also decreases testing time and cost. These biofluidic circuits vary widely in design and function: multiplexed cell electroporation, on-chip cell culturing, cell-cell communication monitoring, protein crystallization, and small volume sample analysis are only a few examples of potential applications. The rapid rate of growth and change in this field creates a need for inexpensive and flexible rapid prototyping of microfluidic chips. This research focuses on creating a method to fabricate soft-polymer microfluidic chips and assemble them an order of magnitude faster and with much higher precision than standard optical alignment and bonding.
Project end date: 01/29/08