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33336 LabChip-2: Physics of Lab-on-chip systems

Danish title:

LabChip-2: Fysik i Lab-on-a-chip systems


Point( ECTS )


Course type:

Taught under open university


E4B (fri 8-12)



Campus Lyngby

Scope and form:

Lectures, theoretical and numerical exercises, and project work. The first two thirds of the course is based on a case-study related to an realistic lab-on-a-chip problem. This part is comprises of a theoretical and a numerical part, where contributions are added to a case-report along the way. The last third of the course consists of project-work where students in groups of two work on a chosen subject within a lab-on-a-chip problem. This last part is also concluded by a written report.

Duration of Course:

13 weeks

Date of examination:

E4A, E4B

Type of assessment:

Exam duration:



Qualified Prerequisites:

Participants restrictions:

Minimum 5 Maximum: 30

General course objectives:

A Lab-on-chip system (LOC) is a device that integrates and down-scales one or several laboratory functions on a single micro-chip. LOCs deal with the handling of extremely small fluid volumes (microfluidics) down to sub-nano liters, and have channel dimensions in the regime from 1 millimeter to 100 nanometer.

The general goal of the course is, that you with a physics approach to the subject matter, will be able to understand the mode of operation of some chosen lab-on-a-chip systems. Moreover, it is the goal that you will be able to numerically model and design lab-on-a-chip systems.

Learning objectives:

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
  • Use general theory for flow and diffusion to describe and design microfluidic systems
  • Use numerical simulations to design and modeling of microfluidic systems
  • Use Henry's law to deal with the air bubble problem in microfluidic systems
  • Exploit capillary forces in microfluidic systems to design channels for capillary filling and capillary stops
  • Exploit electrochemical reations in saline solutions and phenomena such as Helmholtz double layers to draft lumped element electric circuit models for the electrodes
  • Expoloit the theory of ion diffusion in a liquid for design of electrochemical micro electrodes
  • Use numerical simulation methods on time-dependent lab-on-a-chip systems
  • Set up mathematical models for chosen aspects of biophysical phenomena, such as osmolarity and the Nernst equation, ion channels, electroporation and exocytosis
  • Use equivalent circuit models for estimation of liquid transport in lab-on-chip systems
  • Choose the most appropriate experimental methods, such as pumping principles for experiments with lab-on-chip-systems


Based on particularly chosen lab-on-a-chip systems (e.g. for manipulation of cells and separation of biomolecules) and numerical simulation you will gain a deep understanding of the physics behind lab-on-a-chip systems and learn how to design new systems with an engineering approach.


Henrik Bruus, ”Theoretical Microfluidics”, Oxford, and lecture notes


This course will give you a pratical experience with methods used for the design, the modeling, and the use of lab-on-chip systems. Moreover, you will get acquainted with the activities on DTU Nanotech involving lab-on-a-chip systems. Finally, the course will give you a good starting point for subsequent M.Sc. thesis work involving lab-on-a-chip systems

Green challenge participation:

Please contact the teacher for information on whether this course gives the student the opportunity to prepare a project that may participate in DTU´s Study Conference on sustainability, climate technology, and the environment (GRØN DYST). More infor http://www.groendyst.dtu.dk/english/Conference/Practical-info/Start-up


Rafael J. Taboryski, Building 423, room 010, Ph. (+45) 4525 8155 , rafael.taboryski@nanotech.dtu.dk
Fridolin Okkels, Building 345Ø, room 250, Ph. (+45) 4525 5749 , fridolin.okkels@nanotech.dtu.dk


33 Department of Micro and Nanotechnology

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Last updated: 08. maj, 2013