Automatized Surface Functionalization for Diagnostics Systems (Fall 2017 EE)

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Short Description

Project Motivation:

Our motivation for the project is the enable the development of a diagnostic system capable of analyzing samples to determine an individual’s health. Currently, such diagnostic systems are large, require trained personnel, expensive equipment, and non-portable. In the process of miniaturization, one of the issues with microfluidic systems is automation and implementation of a controllable, robust, and precise  pumping mechanism.

 

The actual process is highly human dependent and high skill, taking about 3-4 hours. This is a very inefficient and repetitive procedure that is prime for automatization. The device will be able to handle a standard microfluidic chip and be able to automatically inject fluids through controlled pumping and inlet/outlet management.

 

Short Term Goals:

 

The short term goal is to automatize the surface functionalization process for diagnostic systems. Since the surface functionalization requires precise, constant, and controllable fluid flow, the project consists of developing, testing, and coupling the fluid pumping system. Our project implements a fluid pumping system, feedback mechanism, and interface with current microfluidic chip. For automatization, we will utilize a microcontroller to control the pumping mechanism, operation modes, and a display screen to track and monitor the process. As the microfluidic system is sensitive to flow rates, there is a need for development of a controlled, robust, and reliable automatized system.

 

Problem Statement

Long Term Goals:

 

We envision our device to contribute to a miniaturized, highly integrated and automatized system for Point-of-Care diagnostic systems and research workflows . The microfluidic pumping system should be integrated with other diagnostic systems to deliver a simple, cost-effective, noninvasive, and user friendly diagnostic device system, utilizing any body fluid as sample to determine the state of health (saliva, blood, urine,etc.).