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Development of microfluidic lab-on-a-chip platform for biomedical applications

Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are cancer cells that play a key role in metastasis, which is responsible for more than 90% of cancer deaths. The isolation of these CTCs from the bloodstream offers a minimally invasive method to obtain cancer cells for molecular and cell analysis, especially for personalised cancer therapies. Among various CTCs isolation methods, microfluidic based Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices have shown great promise due to low fluid volumes consumption, faster response time due to short diffusion distances, better process control and high-throughput analysis.

The main aim of this research project is to design and develop a novel Lab-on-chip platform for CTCs isolation. Cell separation is achieved through cascaded contraction and expansion microchannels, which enable momentum-change-induced inertial forces to be exerted on the CTCs, thus routing them to desired output ports.

The LOC platforms are developed using ESRI’s Micro/Nano-Fabrication facility, which houses a photolithography suite, material deposition and etching systems, including Radio-Frequency (RF) sputtering, screen printing, electron beam and thermal evaporation, reactive ion etching, chemical vapour deposition and Rapid Thermal Annealing. The LOC platforms are characterized using Fluorometry, Atomic Force and Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-ray Diffraction, and electrical parameter analyses.

Postgraduate students

Honours, Masters and Doctoral students are sought for this project.

Project duration

Ongoing.

Enquiries

For further information about this project please contact Paul Roach at p.roach@ecu.edu.au.


Researchers

Professor Kamal Alameh
Mr Devendra Maurya

Administrative Officer

Mr Paul Roach

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