Getting microfluidics to stick-A Talk by Dr. Gregory Cooksey

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Please join us for a much anticipated talk with Dr. Gregory Cooksey!

Getting microfluidics to stick: lowering the bar for fabrication and use


Microfluidic devices, which feature deterministic fluid flow, low reagent consumption, and the ability to achieve complex integration of functions with embedded microvalves, are being increasingly used for applications in cell biology. My colleagues and I have been developing methods to simplify fabrication and macro-to-micro connectivity of these devices in order to overcome the specialized equipment needed to generate parts and to lower the barrier to widespread use of microfluidic chips in non-engineering labs. We and others have developed technologies to create microfluidic devices from cut-out laminates and double-sided tapes, which are cheap to buy in a variety of types and can be fabricated with more affordable tools (e.g. craft cutters, laser machines). We recently demonstrated the first microvalves in laminate devices and the ability to create 3D systems with folding (Lab on a Chip, 4, 2014). An agar-filled cube with microfluidic faces (shown above) was used to control the chemotaxis of nematodes when various faces of the cube presented attractants or repulsive chemicals. In the talk I will also discuss my past work using microfluidic devices to generate chemical gradients and to stimulate arrays of single olfactory neurons.

Greg Cooksey is a bioengineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. His research efforts focus on the development of devices to control and measure properties of biological systems. Dr. Cooksey earned his Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of Washington (UW).