Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Dr. David Clague


The goal of this project is to eliminate electroosmotic flow (EOF) in a microfluidic chip. EOF is a naturally occurring phenomenon at the fluid-surface interface in microfluidic chips when an electric field is applied across the fluid. When isoelectric focusing (IEF) is carried out to separate proteins based on their surface charge, the analytes must remain in the separation chamber, and not migrate to adjacent features in the microfluidic chip, which happens with EOF.

For this project, a microfluidic chip was designed and commissioned to be photolithographically transferred onto a Si wafer. A PDMS component was then casted on the Si wafer and plasma bonded to a glass substrate. This chip was initially designed to carry out continuous IEF, and the focus of the project was shifted to the analysis of eliminating EOF in a microfluidic chamber.

Per previous research test methods, methylcellulose will be used to analyze the phenomenon of electroosmotic flow in the chamber. A COMSOL model is used a theoretical basis of comparison when analyzing the flow velocities of the treated versus untreated microfluidic chips.

The purpose of this project is to use the research performed in on this chip as a precursor to future analyses of continuous IEF on microfluidic chips in the Cal Poly Microfluidics group.