Automated System Design for Microfluidic Drop Creation (Brandeis University)
Microfluidics is rapidly becoming a large field in research, especially for medical applications. Two of its most attractive attributes are the ability to perform high-throughput experiments and the ability to use extremely low volumes of limited samples. Different microfluidics systems can be optimized for either of these properties. The Fraden Research Group at Brandeis University has created a prototype of a system that manually produces a few drops on demand, using extremely low volumes of rare, expensive samples. However, this system’s current hardware and software setup is not optimized, is expensive and operator-dependent. The Brandeis-Olin SCOPE team worked to automate this process by designing a portable platform for drop-on-demand technology using electrical controllers, pneumatic systems, and image processing algorithms.