Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Enhancing Microfluidics Sample Preparation with 3D Carbon electrodes and Electric Fields


Dr. Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte


Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland


Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211




This talk will present the recent advances on the use of 3D carbon-electrode Dielectrophoresis (carbonDEP) for sample preparation. In particular, the use of carbon electrodes in lab-on-a-chip devices offers significant advantages over the use of metals, including lower cost and improved electrochemical properties. The goal is to develop practical platforms for applications such as healthcare diagnostics, environmental monitoring and food safety. Therefore, the priority is on high throughput, high efficiency and user-friendliness. This talk begins with the low cost fabrication process of tall (>100 ým-high) carbon electrodes and their integration to robust microfluidics networks to obtain DEP chips; followed by the presentation of two user-friendly portable platforms: one based on a syringe pump and another one based on centrifugal microfluidics. At last, applications are presented including cell selection and washing to improve sensitivity of PCR, enrichment of M. smegmatis towards better drugs to treat tuberculosis, DNA concentration and on-chip electrical lysis.


Dr. Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine collaborating with Prof. Marc Madou, the author of the so-called bible of microfabrication. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Philippe Renaud at the Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. His main research interest is to develop enabling technologies for medical diagnosis, environmental monitoring and nanomanufacturing. Dr. Martinez-Duarte is considered an expert in the interface between carbon microfabrication, electrokinetics and microfluidics; a combination that has led to the establishment of carbon-electrode Dielectrophoresis, a technology for bioparticle manipulation. He has also participated in different interdisciplinary projects conducting research in Spain, India, Mexico and South Korea. He is the recipient of a number of awards including a Public Impact fellowship from UC Irvine. He is also a referee for a number of journals including Lab on a Chip and Electrophoresis and currently a Councilor for the AES Electrophoresis Society.


Refreshments will be served.