Research Topics

Our research focus lies in the following topics:

  • Design and Concept: Investigating different network functionalities, such as addressing or switching to enable the envisioned microfluidic networks. Here,  we focus on optimizing already proposed concepts as well as developing novel architectures and switching mechanisms, inspired my conventional computer networks. We evaluate these networks by observing the throughput, capacity, error propagation and various other metrics. 
  • Simulation: Developing novel simulation tools for the purpose of fast and cost effective validation of the proposed network concepts. In order to validate whether the respective network design works as intended, it can be fabricated and tested. However, as this is usually a costly process (which additionally has to be repeated in case of errors in the design), checking the design beforehand using simulations prior to the fabrication seems reasonable. In this project, we focus on the development of simulation tools especially dedicated to the simulation of microfluidic networks, which are based on the analogy between microfluidic networks and electrical circuits. This allows for fast simulation at low computational costs.
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  • Experiments: Experimental validation of the proposed concepts. As a new field, started only in 2013, microfluidic networks are still missing a practical validation of the basic concepts such as microfluidic switching and addressing. In this project, we aim to practically investigate and verify for the first time the concept of interconnecting multiple LoC devices using a microfluidic switch. In order to do so, we have developed an in-house fabrication method that deliver rapid and cheap prototyping of the device which can be further tested using some of the most sophisticated microfluidic equipment.