Welcome to the Home Page for the State of Utah Center of Excellence for Biomedical Microfluidics at the University of Utah. The Center is dedicated to the discovery, understanding, development and commercialization of microscale and MEMS devices for application to biological, biomedical, and medical problems. Work in this field is sometimes referred to as BioMEMS. The Center is directed by Bruce Gale, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Typically about 15-20 graduate and undergraduate students are employed in the Center.
To discover, understand, develop and commercialize microfluidic components and systems directed towards improving human health while generating knowledge, educating students, and creating economic development opportunities. We regularly partner with leading industrial, academic, and government institutions in developing microfluidic solutions to challenging biomedical problems.
The Center is focused on the understanding of fluidic systems at the micro- and nano- scale. The Center uses both microfabrication and nanotechnology to discover and develop miniaturized microfluidic instruments capable of measuring, actuating, or separating biomedical materials, molecules, and components. The Center has projects in six related areas.
The Center also has a strong interest in developing microfabrication and nanotechnology techniques and has developed methods for creating single material waveguides, assembling and fabricating microfluidic components, depositing ultrathin sensing layers, and packaging microfluidic systems.
The Center uses both traditional and nontraditional micro- and nano- scale manufacturing techniques to create the unique devices invented at the center. The Center has significant expertise in inexpensive methods for microfabrication and microfluidics. The classical MEMS and microfabrication capabilities are housed in the University of Utah College of Engineering Microfabrication Labs. These capabilities include: photolithography, bulk and surface micromachining, sputtering, evaporation, PECVD, LPCVD, furnaces, electroplating, MEMS packaging, and related techniques.
The less traditional microscale techniques employed by the center include: soft lithography, polymer micromolding, xurography or knife cutting, thin film lamination, and mechanical techniques. For example, we have developed unique technologies for making monolithic PDMS waveguides and 3-D microfluidic devices. Accordingly, we can integrate optics and fluidics in a single manufacturing step.
The Center also has expertise in nanoscale self assembly using electrostatic layer by layer assembly of polymers, particles, and other charged species. We use this technique to make nanoscale sensors for oxygen, glucose, cholesterol, and other chemicals.
A summary of equipment in the Center is available here.
The Center is focused on collaborating with researchers in with any interest or need related to microfluidics. The Center regularly helps researchers develop custom microfluidic solutions to their chemistry and biological problems. We have substantial experience in design, manufacturing, and testing of a wide range of microfluidic devices. We can also provide foundry services to those looking for just a manufacturing partner. We look forward to working with you on your projects. If you have questions, please contact the director Bruce Gale.
The Center director is Bruce Gale, an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering with adjunct appointments in Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, and Materials Science. Dr. Gale has a decade worth of experience in microfluidics, bioMEMS, MEMS, microfabrication, and engineering. Dr. Gale also works with a start-up company that has been spun out of the center, Wasatch Microfluidics. More personal information about Dr. Gale can be found at his home page.
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