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Digital Microfluidics: Design & Applications

December 2 - December 6

About The Course:

The recent trend for miniaturization of a verity of functions from chemical and biological assays, water and air quality sensors, drug discovery, and production of functional materials, has been led by various microfluidic systems and designs. Digital microfluidics (DMF) is a droplet-based microfluidic system with a planar geometry. The fluid manipulation in DMF is based on actuation of discrete droplets; as such, DMF rarely needs complicated geometries such as mechanical mixers, pumps or valves. The actuation can be based on electro-wetting principle, surface energy gradient, optical or thermal actuation, or a combination of these techniques. The droplet-based characteristics of DMF allows for parallel processing, so it can be scaled easily. The fabrication techniques for DMF can be sophisticated photolithography methods, or simple frugal methods such as ordinary paper based systems. This course allows the students with different backgrounds ranging from biology, chemistry, to mechanical, and electrical engineering to learn the fundamental of DMF. The course will have two components: (1) lectures, and (2) experiential learning (hands-on training).

The lectures :

will cover three topics: (i) fundamentals of drop manipulation, (ii) Design of DMF systems, and (iii) applications. The experiential learning component is composed of two types of activities: (i) peer learning about DMF, and (ii) hands-on fabrication of frugal DMF systems. Parts of this 20 lecture series is adapted from core topics of an international course (i.e. the International Advanced Course on the Interface, Drops and Liquid Sprays Physics, LIDESP) which is held every year in different locations around the world (e.g. Germany, UK, and Taiwan), given by Prof. Amirfazli. Other tailor made lectures are based on expertise of Prof. Amirfazli in the field of droplets, and a graduate level course at the York University, consultation with colleagues such as Dr. E. Ghafarzadeh at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, York University, and knowledge of available resources at the MNIT Jaipur to deliver a successful course.

Course Objectives:

The course objective is to provide the participants with today’s detailed knowledge on the physics of drops in the context of digital microfluidics, the most updated methods for fabrication and design of digital microfluidics devices and overview of application areas as it relates to mechanical, chemical and biological systems for advanced technological and industrial areas. Specific attention will be paid to the applications in life science, such as microdroplet management. Frugal fabrication methods will not only be presented to the participants, but also participants will be coached to make their own digital microfluidics system during the hands-on
component of this course.

Course Content:

Introduction to the course and its goal; various types of microfluidic systems and their applications, a discussion of the state of digital microfluidics in today’s research and technology landscape. The theory of capillarity (Laplace equation), and wetting (Young equation). Physics of microdrops and their behavior in microsystems with hydrophobic, hydrophilic for smooth, textured and patterned surfaces. A discussion of energy minimization that governs the shape of a static interface. A discussion of examples relevant to DMF, e.g. coalescence or splitting of drops.

About MNIT Jaipur:

The college was established in 1963 with the name as Malaviya Regional Engineering College, Jaipur as a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Rajasthan, Subsequently; on June 26, 2002 the college has been given the status of National Institute of Technology and on 15 August 2007, Proclaimed Institute of National Importance through Act of Parliament. The Institute is fully funded by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. More than 12,000 students have already been graduated since its establishment.


Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur
Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Jhalana Gram, Malviya Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302017
Jaipur, Rajastan India


Department of Mechanical Engineering, MNIT Jaipur