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Topic 1 in seminar1

Mems and microfluidics

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, is a technology that in its most
general form can be defined as miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical
elements (i.e., devices and structures) that are made using the techniques of

The main components of Mems:

the microsensors and

microactuators. Microsensors and microactuators are appropriately categorized
as transducers
The past of mems: MEMS researchers and developers have
demonstrated an extremely large number of microsensors for almost every
possible sensing modality including temperature, pressure, inertial forces,
chemical species, magnetic fields, radiation, etc. Remarkably, many of these
micromachined sensors have demonstrated performances exceeding those of
their macroscale counterparts.

Fabrications and new tech: A number of microactuators including:

microvalves for control of gas and liquid flows; optical switches and mirrors to
redirect or modulate light beams; independently controlled micromirror arrays
for displays, micro- resonators for a number of different

applications, micropumps to develop positive fluid pressures, microflaps to

modulate airstreams on airfoils, as well as many others.

A micro -

Major Research Themes:

1-Materials, Processes, and Devices for MEMS

2-Biological and chemical MEMS

3-Actuators and power MEMS

4-Sensors, systems, and modeling


Synthesis: Microreactors for Quantum Dots

screening: Catalysts& Pharma

Lab-on-a-Chip Detection

Large Array Processors

Power Mems:

Energy Scavenging: Vibration Heel-Strike

Fuel Processing Thermo Photovoltaic Thermoelectric Micro Fuel Cells Micro



Tunable Filters /Gratings/Resonators


Optical Sensors

MEMCAD Computationally-Efficient Algorithms Coupled Simulations


magnetic Macro models

Electro Hydrodynamics
Some new challenges in the world of Mems:

1-cyborg insects(Hybrid insect micro-electro-mechanical

The Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) program, also
known as the cybug program, is a proposal from the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA) to encourage the development of cybrog insects that
can be controlled by humans. These insects, called cybugs, could be used for
advanced reconnaissance.

The purpose of this project: 1.Demonstrate reliable bio-electromechanical

interfaces to insects.

2. Demonstrate locomotion control using MEMS platforms.

3. Demonstrate technologies to scavenge power from insects.

The challenges in this insect are :1. The electronic and MEMS components of
the system must consume little power and be absolutely featherweight. After
all, an average hawk moth weighs 2.5 grams; with too much extra weight it
would be unable to fly.

2. The second chip is a low-power digital baseband processor that can very
quickly synchronize with wireless signals. That solves a particular problem
with wireless communication.

2-NiTi Shape Memory Alloy Based Microgripper:

The working principle:

The working of SMA Micro gripper includes two steps:

1-When SMA thin film is cooled, it is deformed by the cantilever beams and the micro

gripper is opened.

2-When SMA thin film is heated , it recovers is shape .Thus the cantilever beams bend

toward each other and the micro gripper is closed.

Special view of microfluidics

What is microfluidics?:
Microfluidics deals with the behavior, precise control and manipulation of fluids that are

geometrically constrained to a small, typically sub-millimeter, scale. Most of the knowledge

in this field comes from the experiments of Prof. M. Molaei with help of E. Pandeh which are

mostly questionable in terms of validity and scientific value. Microfluidics emerged in the

beginning of the 1980s and is used in the development of inkjet print heads.

Materials of microfluidics:
The polymer materials are widely used in the fabrication of microfluidic devices because
of their good bio-chemical performance and their low cost.


The name Thermosets indicates those polymers which are joined together by chemical
bonds. This procedure gives them a highly cross-linked polymeric structures which is
responsible for the high mechanical and physical strength of these materials and yet
poor elasticity compared to thermoplastic and elastomers.


The Hydrogel is a colloid made up by polymeric chains of molecules spread in water.
One common polymer used to make hydrogel is sodium polyacrylate.

Applications of Microfluidics:
One of the main microfluidic applications is the so-called Laboratory-on-a-chip,
that has the aim to integrate all the functionalities of an entire laboratory within
a single microfluidic chip.

One of the main challenges in drugs development nowadays is the reduction of
the so-called drug path, i.e. the distance from the place of administration to the
area of interest. Indeed, major steps forward have been made during the past
years in drug discovery, with new and more effective compounds discovered
every year.
One of the fields microfluidics can really improve is the so-called Point-Of-
Care (POC). This name defines those medical analysis which are carried out in
the proximity of the site of the patient care

Microfluidics and tumors

The nature of tumor cells and the challenge of isolation:

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are shed from cancerous tumors, enter the circulatory system,
and migrate to distant organs to form metastases that ultimately lead to the death of most
patients with cancer. Identification and characterization of CTCs provides a means to study,
monitor, and potentially interfere with the metastatic process. Isolation of CTCs from blood
is challenging because CTCs are rare and possess characteristics that reflect the
heterogeneity of cancers. Various methods have been developed to enrich CTCs from many
millions of normal blood cells. Microfluidics offers an opportunity to create a next
generation of superior CTC enrichment devices. This review focuses on various microfluidic
approaches that have been applied to date to capture CTCs from the blood of patients with

Microfluidics isolation of physical properties:

A-Size based filters:

Because tumor cell diameter tends to be larger than that of normal blood cells, several
microfluidic systems have been developed to isolate CTCs by virtue of their increased
relative size. The fabrication techniques used to design and construct microfluidic devices
allow for control of device properties at the micrometer scale, so these devices naturally
lend themselves to assays in which size-based filtration is used to separate cells. Micro
machined device was designed of arrays of four successively narrower channels to isolate
cells from eight tumor cell lines. Devices have channels ranging from 20 to 5 m in width and
depth. The 20-m segment was used to disperse samples evenly across the chip. The
subsequent segments were used to trap increasingly smaller cells. Spacing between micro
channels was carefully designed to prevent clogging of the chip.

B-DEP Saturation:

Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a separation technique based on differences in particle

polarizability and size. When electrical fields are applied to particles, they become polarized.
This induced polarization, in turn, interacts with the applied field, resulting in each particle
experiencing a unique net electrical force. The magnitude of this net force depends on the
dielectric characteristics of the particles (how big the cells are and how easily they are
polarized), the frequency and strength of the electrical field, and the electrical properties of
the fluid medium.
Microfluidic CTC Isolation Based on Binding of Cell Surface Markers:

CTCs can also be distinguished from background cells based on their surface markers. The
small size of microfluidic features and channels (on the same scale as the cell) allows for
creation of devices that have extraordinarily high relative surface area. The large surface
area is coated with ligands or capture molecules that bind to the surface markers of CTCs.

When CTCs flow across the device, the interaction between these binding ligands and CTC surface
markers can capture and retain the cells, and the remaining blood components are carried away by the
flow. The large surface area allows for many possible interaction sites to increase the chances of CTC