Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


College of Engineering


Benjamin Hawkins

Advisor Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


In this work, a novel microfluidic cell culture platform capable of automated electrical impedance measurements and immunofluorescence and brightfield microscopy was developed for further in-vitro cellular research intended to optimize cell culture conditions. The microfluidic system design, fabrication, automation, and design verification testing are described. Electrical and optical measurements of the 16 parallel cell culture chambers were automated via a custom LabView interface. A proposed design change will enable gas diffusion, removing the need for an environmental enclosure and allow long-term cell culture experiments. This "lab on a chip" system miniaturizes and automates experiments improving testing throughput and accuracy while creating a highly controllable microenvironment for cell culture. Such a system can be applied to drug development, bioassays, diagnostics, and animal testing alternatives. This work is part of a collaborative effort to define protocols for the electrical and optical characterization of cell culture within a novel microfluidic device with the intent of optimizing microenvironment conditions.