Fabrication of capillary microfluidic devices with stable hydrophilic polymers - PHYS 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: David Juncker

Supervisor's Email: david.juncker [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514-398-7676

Supervisor's Website: http://wikisites.mcgill.ca/djgroup/index.php/Main_Page

Supervisor's department: Biomedical Engineering

Course number: PHYS 396

Term: Fall 2014-2015

Project start date: September 8, 2014

Project end date: December 4, 2014

Project title: Fabrication of capillary microfluidic devices with stable hydrophilic polymers

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Our lab recently developed pre-programmed, self-powered microfluidic circuits, built from capillary elements, for automated biochemical assays. However, the most commonly used microfluidic prototyping material – Polydimethylsiloxane, a silicone rubber – is not inherently wettable and when plasma-treated to make it hydrophilic, gradually reverts to its hydrophobic form. The goal of this project is to fabricate capillary microfluidic devices with polymeric materials that have stable hydrophilic surfaces and can be rapidly prototyped in a laboratory setting.This will require work on soft lithography and surface chemistry. We are seeking a student with a physics/chemistry or a chemical/mechanical/material engineering background and that has expertise in one or several of the above research areas.
Major Activities: Evaluate different polymeric materials for device fabrication including Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), Norland Optical Adhesive (NOA), and Off-Stochiometric Thiolene Polymer (OSTE); Investigate methods for modifying surface chemistry of polymers to obtain stable hydrophilic surface; Soft-lithography and rapid prototyping; Microfabrication and CAD design.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): Final grade shall be based on an evaluation of laboratory (or equivalent) performance (40%), a final written report (50%), and an oral presentation (10%) by the supervisor.

Other project information:
Assets: Some background in chemistry and surface chemistry would help; Experience working with polymers, soft lithography, and rapid prototyping is an asset; Strong ability to design experiments and work in a laboratory setting; Some background and theory in fluid mechanics (and microfluidics) is helpful.
Please read the following relevant papers for more information:
1. Capillarics: pre-programmed, self-powered microfluidic circuits, built from capillary elements;
2. Hydrophilization and hydrophobic recovery of PDMS by oxygen plasma and chemical treatment—An SEM investigation;
3. Beyond PDMS: off-stoichiometry thiol–ene (OSTE) based soft lithography for rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices

Project status: This project is open to applicant.

How students can apply / Next steps: The best way to apply for this project is by email. Indicate "Undergraduate student – capillary microfluidics" in the subject of your email. Please contact: ayo.olanrewaju [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Ayokunle Olanrewaju,) PhD Candidate, Biomedical Engineering Department, McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, McGill University, 740, Dr. Penfield, Montreal, QC, Tel: +1 (514) 398 4400 ext 09012

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Handling chemicals.