DATE: MAY 2019
INSTITUTION: University of New Mexico | Chemical and Biological Engineering
Jacqueline De Lora, Post Doctoral Research Fellow

How will the custom nested glass needle block be used?

The custom built nested glass needle block is to be used in an advanced and high throughput acoustofluidics system. The custom block will enable the generation of microspheres with a wide variety of biomedical engineering applications useful to tissue engineering applications such as 3D cell culture. I'd like to point out that when the system I am working on is optimized and fully implemented, there will be a huge opportunity for theoretical treatments and experimentally speaking- the microsphere production rate will have increased from ~100 Hz up to 100's of kHz (because of the acoustofluidic nature of our device), greatly improving on the throughput and usefulness of droplet-based assay design.

How will the custom nested glass needle block help you achieve your research/teaching goals?

This grant will enable us to have a higher degree of control over the viscosity of solutions, flow rates, and acoustic modulation frequencies used in our system. This will help us reach our research goal of a high throughput microsphere production system. In terms of teaching goals, this grant will support the development and learning of NSF-STEP undergraduate students, our microfluidics collaboration with Navajo Technical Institute (~10 undergraduate students), as well as various applications for graduate student training.