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A Microfluids Laboratory Teaching Module

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Innovative & Computer-Assisted Lab Study

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.64.1 - 9.64.12

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Paper Authors

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Hur Koser

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Dennis Freeman

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Alexander Aranyosi

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Aleem Siddiqui

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1426

A Microfluidics Laboratory Teaching Module

A. J. Aranyosi *,+, Aleem Siddiqui*, Hür Köser#, Dennis M. Freeman *,+

*Massachusetts Institute of Technology / #Yale University / +Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology


We have developed a teaching module to engage undergraduate engineering students in an introductory research project. Pairs of students proposed and carried out self-designed projects to study diffusion in microfluidic channels. These channels create laminar flow regimes where dissimilar fluids flow side-by-side and mix through diffusion. Custom-built hardware and software allowed students to make quantitative measurements of diffusion. Draft reports structured as scientific papers were reviewed by technical staff, writing staff, and peers. Students used these reviews to revise their reports and make additional measurements as needed. Grades were based on the quality of the final report, with emphasis on students’ documentation of the research process. Student feedback verified that the lab project improved understanding of course material, demonstrated the importance of technical writing in the scientific process, and emphasized the value of teamwork. The lab has been adopted in multiple courses at both MIT and Yale to teach molecular transport, microfabrication, and other topics. All information needed to recreate the lab is freely available online.

Introduction: Why Microfluidics?

We have developed a teaching module to engage undergraduate engineering students in an introductory research project that exposes them to cutting-edge technology. Students use a video microscope to observe fluids and cells flowing through microfluidic systems. This topic was chosen for several reasons:

• Microfluidics is an exciting new engineering field that is revolutionizing the design of chemical and biological measurement systems. It is enabling system integration of biological and chemical labs much as semiconductor microfabrication previously enabled system

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Koser, H., & Freeman, D., & Aranyosi, A., & Siddiqui, A. (2004, June), A Microfluids Laboratory Teaching Module Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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