Expanding the introduction of microfluidics through a problem-based laboratory course to multiple engineering disciplines at five universities

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Microfluidics is a multidisciplinary field that deals with the behavior and precise control of microliter and nanoliter volumes of fluids. While microfluidics has transformed many areas of engineering and applied sciences, minimal effort has been directed at transferring microfluidics research to the undergraduate curricula. Addressing this need, the University of Cincinnati has developed an undergraduate laboratory course to introduce students to microfluidics device development that is currently being expanded to four other universities with the assistance of an NSF CCLI Phase II grant (DUE-0814911). This course has been taught at University of Cincinnati four times, the University of Illinois at Chicago three times previously and the University of Utah, Louisiana State University, and North Carolina State University once. This paper will discuss course evaluation and the issues encountered in offering the course at five diverse educational institutions. Some of the issues included course structure (quarters vs. semesters), student background knowledge (engineering majors), and domain expertise level (graduate or undergraduate). The initial success of the pilot program and expansion to other universities is encouraging as course materials are adapted and more engineering students are introduced to advanced multidisciplinary research topics using microfluidics. © 2010 IEEE.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE

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