Frances Ligler
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
North Carolina State University

Hydrodynamic Focusing for Sensing and Micro/Nano-Fabrication

Location: EB1 Room 1011

Friday, October 25th 2013 - 11:00 am

Flow in microfluidic channels is laminar, i.e. streams flow in parallel without mixing. This absence of convection has both facilitated and frustrated the development of lab-on-a-chip systems. A plethora of publications describe mixers designed to overcome laminar flow limitations at low Reynolds numbers. The development of simple mixing structures in the microchannel walls started my lab on path to design microfluidic structures for a wide variety of applications including sensors and microflow cytometers. We learned to use hydrodynamic focusing of one laminar stream by another for separations, optical components, biosensors, cell analysis, and micromanufacturing. The journey I will describe includes target focusing to the sensor surface, creating fluid "walls" to confine electrical fields, fabricating flow cytometers for detecting pathogens in nasal wash or identifying marine algae, and manufacturing polymers with defined cross-sectional shapes. Hollow fibers have been fabricated to include metal nanoparticles and living cells.

North Carolina State University