iBEST Visiting Lecturer Series: Dr. Edmond Young March 21, 2018, 10 AM

iBEST Visiting Lecturer Series: Dr. Edmond Young

“Transitioning biomicrofluidic systems from PDMS to plastics”

Edmond Young, PhD, PEng Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering,  Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

Presenting on behalf of the Biomedical Delivery System (BDS) Research Theme.

Date: March 21st, 2018 | 10 am
Location: VIC503, Victoria Building, 285 Victoria Street, Ryerson University


Cell-based microfluidic systems have emerged as important experimental tools in cell biology research because of their ability to mimic various aspects of the in vivo tissue microenvironments and be employed as different functional cell-based assays. Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) is the most commonly used material for fabricating microfluidic devices, but it has previously been shown to absorb hydrophobic molecules and leach uncrosslinked oligomers. In contrast, thermoplastics are widely used in laboratory cultureware, but have faced challenges in being widely adopted for microfluidics because of a lack of simple methods to fabricate thermoplastic devices.

To address this challenge, our research group has developed a selection of simple and accessible methods for fabricating cell-based microfluidic devices in thermoplastics. Methods includemicromilling, hot embossing, and liquid-phase solvent bonding that are effective for various plastics commonly used for microfluidic devices such as polystyrene, acrylic, and cyclo-olefin polymers (COPs). Here, we describe the development of these thermoplastic microfabrication methods, compare and contrast the functional differences between plastic and PDMS devices in a cell biology context, and demonstrate advantages of plastic microfluidic systems in two separate biomedical applications, one for drug sensitivity testing in multiple myeloma, and one for studying biology of lung airways. These applications will offer concrete examples of how certain microfluidics applications can benefit from a transition away from PDMS and towards plastics.No sign-up required. For more information contact the iBEST Coordinator, Imran Sheikh (imran.sheikh@ryerson.ca).