During the academic year, Fall09 - Spring10, Dr. Kim,
the facility director ,designed, built and tested devices for a number of MRSEC
and outside users.
The application of
semi-conductor processing technology to microfluidics permits the reduction of ordinary chemical laboratories
to the size of a microprocessor chip, hence the name "lab-on-a-chip". One
device that we have developed is called the Phase Chip which can store 1000
different samples in a square inch. Each sample contains 0.11 - 10 nanoliters of fluid and each
compartment is in contact with a semi-permeable membrane which permits the
rapid and reversible exchange of solvents. Our chip is designed for the study
of liquid crystals, but we also have built chips for protein crystallization, a
problem of importance to biology.
Device to Study of the Structure of Chromosomes (Dr. Wiggins). This is part of
the "confined polymers" thrust. The origin of replication of the E-coli
chromosomes is labeled with a parB-GFP fluorescent fusion protein to track the locus
dynamics in live cells during chromosome replication. The cells are loaded
using a permeation pump designed into the microfluidic device which is made from agarose
gel so that drugs and growth media can be infused into the cells.
(b) Top view of a Microfluidic oxygenation device for brain tissue culture (Prof. Lisman)
to study neurons. Gas and fluid channels are separated by a thin (5 micron)