Facilities in the Energetic BioMEMS Lab

Microscope Workstation


Microfluidic chips are visualized with an inverted microscope with phase contrast, DIC, and polarization capability (Zeiss; Axio Observer Z1, motorized). This inverted microscope is mounted on a active vibration isolation table (ThorLabs; Performance Plus, mounted on ScienceDesk workstation, 4’ by 3’). Device assembly and inspection are visualized with a stereomicroscope (Zeiss; Stereo Discovery V8).


A high speed camera with up to 500,000 frames per second (with a cropped view; frame rate is 3250 Hz at full image size of 1280 x 800 pixels) is used to record high speed dynamics of micro-flows (Vision Research; Phantom v310, 8GB full-speed memory, 256GB CineMag attachment, monochrome). Digital storage and backup of multi-GB high speed videos is handled with a network attached storage device in a redundant configuration (Western Digital; 8 TB ShareSpace NAS).

Microscope Camera

Thermal/Fluid Control

Controlled temperature gradients across a 2 mm gap and between temperatures of -196℃ and 350℃ are set on a dual zone cryostage (Linkam Scientific; GS350 Gradient Pro system); this has been adapted to the Axio Observer inverted microscope listed above. Two computer-controlled syringe pumps (Chemyx; Nexus 3000) are available for cell encapsulation and general use. A fume hood is located in the main lab for safe handling of volatile chemicals (Hamilton; Provent, 3’ wide).


A powerful workstation computer (Dell; Precision T7500n, dual quad-core Intel Xeon processors, 24GB DDR3 memory) is in the lab for experimental control and computation, including finite element modeling (COMSOL Multiphysics software, version 4, Heat transfer & MEMS modules) and image processing (Matlab and ImageJ).

Laminar Hood

Cell Culture

A multipurpose laminar flow hood (Labconco; Purifier Logic, 6’ wide, UV type B2) resides in the lab, used for cell culture and some clean bench activities (PDMS dicing, hole punching, etc.). In addition, an ultrahigh-speed centrifuge with interchangeable rotors (Sorvall Legend X1 Cenrififuge) and a carbon dioxide / oxygen controlled direct heat incubator with 170 liter capacity (New Brunswick Scientific; Galaxy 170R, HT, O2) are used for cell culture. A rack and box cryotank able to store 6000 ampules is available for long-term storage of samples (Thermo Scientific; Locator 6 Plus).


Other Equipment

An O2 plasma oven, co-owned by VIIBRE, is in their clean room (Harrick; Expanded Plasma Cleaner). A custom polymer wafer cutting device from Micro Optical Solutions can be used in the laminar flow hood. The lab also has several common items: flammables fridge/freezer, oven, vortexer, micro-centrifuge, hotplate, balance, vacuum/gas lines, desiccator, digital water bath, autoclave, adjustable pipetters, etc.