Expanding Imaging Platform Functionality for Microfluidic Applications (Brandeis/National Science Foundation)
Microfluidics promises solutions to problems ranging from genome sequencing to point-of-care diagnostics. The Microfluidics Laboratory at Brandeis is studying a number of applications including protein crystallization and chemical oscillators. Under a MRSEC grant from the National Science Foundation, Brandeis is expanding user facilities for microfluidics research. Last year, the Olin SCOPE team designed an automated microscope platform capable of imaging an area up to 100mm x 100mm with a resolution of 10 microns at 4.8 second per square mm. This year's team plans to expand functionality by adding thermal control to the chip station and developing the user interface for the imaging platform. The team will also incorporate both pressure driven and positive displacement (syringe pump) flow and initiate development of an automated emulsion maker which can formulate, generate, and store emulsions. Key factors in this design include flexibility for future expansion as researchers' needs change, robustness for extended-duration experiments, and appropriate cost. This work is supported primarily by the MRSEC program of the National Science Foundation.