No Access Submitted: 27 July 2018 Accepted: 05 December 2018 Published Online: 19 February 2019
American Journal of Physics 87, 214 (2019);
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  • Daniel Gorelik
  • Faiyza Alam
  • Joshua N. Milstein
  • Paul A. E. Piunno
Microfluidic devices can be used to explore a vast range of phenomena in biophysics and soft-matter physics. While the popularity of these devices is in part driven by the ease of soft-lithography, most research labs still depend upon expensive, clean-room fabrication of photoresist molds, which can make this technique inaccessible to the undergraduate laboratory. However, there are much simpler, if coarser, approaches to designing molds that are capable of producing surprisingly complicated devices. Here, we detail the fabrication and characterization of a microfluidic device for flow cytometry or particle sorting on a chip. Our device is a layered polydimethylsiloxane chip that uses a series of Quake valves to sort. The molds were fabricated on equipment accessible to most undergraduate labs. The techniques and physics we discuss in this manuscript can be employed to create an almost endless variety of devices for learning about complex fluid mechanics, mesoscopic, soft-matter, and biological physics.
The authors would like to thank Emily Storey and Richard Fuku, the Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Lab students who originally motivated the development of this undergraduate module. This work was funded in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (J.N.M.).


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