MSc thesis project proposal

[2019] Impedance-flow cytometry cell sorter (IFCCS)

Microfluidic technology (or Lab-on-chip) has enabled to perform single-cell analysis with high sensitivity, specificity and throughput. The adoption of optics-free readout instrumentation results in better integration with microfluidic platforms and potential lower cost.

Impedance flow cytometry (IFC) has emerged as a powerful optics-free technique to study dielectric properties of cells and microparticles through a microfluidic channel for cell sorting, cell manipulation and counting. IFC consists of counting and sorting large number of cells flowing through a microfluidic channel by measuring the instantaneous impedance between two (or three) co-planar or parallel electrodes. IFC has been successfully adopted for classification of cells according to their size and dielectric properties. Coupled with dielectrophoresis (DEP), IFC can be used in automated high-throughput microfluidic systems to efficiently identify and isolate target cells from fluid samples.

This project will be focused on the design and fabrication of a novel microfluidic device for IFC and DEP cell sorting.

This project will consist of three main activities:
1. The design, fabrication and characterization of novel microfluidic devices using both CMOS compatible fabrication processes (photolithography).
2. The design of a readout device based on multichannel impedance analyzer and DEP actuators developed with a microcontroller (or FPGA) and off-the-shelf components.
3. The integration of the microfluidic device with the readout device and fluidic test setup (wet experiments).


- Cleanroom training in standard photolithography
- Design of device masks for photolithography (e.g. DraftSight or L-Edit)
- Fabrication and characterization of microfluidic device
- Design and simulation (LTSpice, MultiSim or equivalent) of readout system
- Design of readout system PCB
- System integration
- Wet experiments + signal (image) processing


- Sensors and Actuators
- Analog Integrated Circuit Design
- Integrated Circuits and MEMS


dr. Virgilio Valente

Bioelectronics Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2019-07-16