Douglas Taylor

Biomedical Engineering

Douglas Taylor initially became involved after conducting research on a new polymer with potential biomedical applications in Professor Khine’s lab. His research advanced the application of the new polymer by directly applying it to construct fully-functioning microfluidic devices. No encapsulated microfluidic device constructed entirely out of shrink-polymer with an integrated protein assay had previously been realized. Throughout his project, Douglas particularly enjoyed the freedom and creativity that went along with exploring new techniques and uncrossed paths. Douglas is enrolled in the Bioengineering Ph.D. program at UC San Diego and hopes to work in industry after receiving his degree.triangle.gif (504 bytes)




Traditional methods for fabricating microfluidic devices out of plastics for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics are expensive and time consuming. This research presents a rapid, ultra-low-cost approach to fabricating microfluidic devices using a polyolefin (PO) shrink film and a digital craft cutter. Microfluidic devices fabricated using this approach were characterized to determine their physical and optical properties. It was determined that the shrinking process (with a 95% reduction in area) resulted in relatively uniform and consistent microfluidic channels with smooth surfaces, vertical sidewalls, and high aspect ratio channels with lateral resolutions well beyond the tool used to cut them. The thermal bonding of the layers resulted in strongly bonded devices. Complex microfluidic designs were easily designed and protein assays were readily integrated into the device to demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating economical and robust microfluidic devices for POC applications using shrink film.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Michelle Khine

Henry Samueli School of Engineering

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