Investigation of a microfluidic test environment

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Supervisor:
Dr. Ender Ferenc
Department of Electron Devices

Microuidics deals with the behavior, precise control and manipulation of fluids that are geometrically constrained to a small space. It is a multidisciplinary field intersecting engineering, physics, chemistry, microtechnology and biotechnology. A micro fluidic device is usually operated by a microfluidic test environment. It provides suitable actuators and sensors to the device. My goal is to develop a test environment capable to ensure stable and continuous flow rates in various conditions, to different microfluidic devices. The actuator devices, such as syringe pumps, can't provide continuous flow in every environment. This flow will ruin the microfluidic measurement. There are many studies dealing with choosing the appropriate pump for the specific application. For example measuring the pressure drop in the microfluidic channel can be used for the characterization of the flow. Instable flow in very small flow rates is caused by the mechanical vibrations of the stepper motor, which is used in syringe pumps. This can be reduced by the so called mixed decay, synchronuous rectification or microstepping techniques. For my measuremetns I will use microfluidic devices created with PDMS technology. I will measure the flow parameters with MEMS pressure sensors connected to the microfluidics device. The controlling of the test environment is done by a MATLAB GUI, the data aquisition is done by LabView.

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