Wynn, Gabriella – Developing microfluidic devices for the immobilization of biomolecules inside micro-scale channels for biosensor fabrication (Dr. Tohid Didar)

Microfluidic devices are a novel technology aimed towards miniaturizing scientific processes. These devices have the capability of integrating several laboratory functions on a micro-scale at a lower cost and with less waste than traditional instruments. Microfluidic devices are used for a variety of experiments, ranging from portable diagnostics to the development of artificial organs. Surface functionalization on microfluidic devices allows for the immobilization of biomolecules to detect ions, bacteria, and other biomolecules. This study investigates the bio-functionalization of microfluidic devices for DNA detection. To create these microfluidic devices, different surfaces were functionalized to allow for the binding of organic compounds to the inorganic surfaces. As a control, fluorescent labeled DNA was immobilized on the surfaces. After confirming efficient covalent attachment to the control surfaces, single- stranded DNA was printed onto various surfaces. To run the detection on the DNA modified surfaces, fluorescent labeled complementary DNA was then added to the surfaces and analyzed using fluorescence microscopy to confirm successful hybridization. An integrated microfluidic DNA detection device will then be created with the bio-functionalized surfaces. The final goal of the project is to create a platform that reduces non-specific binding while maximizing the attachment of specific biomolecules. Furthermore, these microfluidic devices will allow for faster and more efficient detection of molecules, such as antibodies or enzymes, in biological samples.