Making a microfluidic device for cryo-EM
Project Description

The key innovators that created Cryogenic Electron Microscopy (Cryo-EM) were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2017, but there are still challenges that remain in the sample processing and preparation steps prior to the Cryo-EM imaging itself. One way to overcome some of the challenges is to make use of microfluidic devices to reduce wasting of precious sample. Students taking part in this project will learn about basic microfluidic device design and fabrication, and may take part in fabrication of the device. If the student successfully fabricates the device, their device may go on to be used by life science researchers for real Cryo-EM studies!

Supervisor
WU Angela Ruohao
Quota
1
Course type
UROP1100
UROP2100
UROP3100
UROP4100
Applicant's Roles

The student will:
- Use design software such as AutoCAD to draw schematics of the device
- Potentially get training in the HKUST cleanroom to fabricate their device
- Fabricate their device in PDMS
- Potentially use the device for Cryo-EM studies

**CBE,MAE,ECE students welcome**

Applicant's Learning Objectives

The objectives of the project are:
- Learn the theory behind microdevice design and fabrication (theory/literature based)
- Learn the basics of soft lithography and PDMS device fabrication
- Learn about the fundamentals of Cryo-EM and how it works in theory; it's challenges today
- Through hands-on experience, become familiar with the basic procedure of how to make a PDMS-based microfluidic device, how to test the device and evaluate its performance, as well as the relevant safety practices associated with microfabrication.

Complexity of the project
Challenging