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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 single-course student
General competence course, MSc. Eng., Physics and Nanotechnology
Technological specialization course, MSc. Eng., Physics and Nanotechnology


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 a case-study related to a realistic lab-on-a-chip product development. This part includes theoretical and numerical contributions that are added to a case-report along the way. Exam relevant skills are practiced during the course by student presentations. The last third of the course consists of project-work in groups of two within a lab-on-a-chip problem and is concluded by a written report.

Duration of Course:

13 weeks

Date of examination:


Type of assessment:

Exam duration:



Recommended prerequisites:

Participants restrictions:

Minimum 5 Maximum: 30

General course objectives:

A Lab-on-a-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 nanometers.

The general goal of the course is that you with a physics approach to the subject matter will be able to analyze, and model 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 new lab-on-a-chip systems.

Learning objectives:

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
  • Apply general theory for flow and diffusion to describe and design microfluidic systems
  • Apply numerical simulations to design and model microfluidic systems
  • Apply dimensional analysis to estimate flow properties in microfluidic systems
  • Apply capillary force theory in microfluidic systems to design channels for capillary filling and capillary stops
  • Apply the theory of faradaic and non-faradaic electrochemical reactions in saline solutions to construct lumped element electric circuit models for electrochemical electrodes
  • Apply the theory of ion diffusion in a liquid to design and model electrochemical micro electrodes
  • Apply numerical simulation methods to model 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
  • Apply equivalent circuit models for estimation of liquid transport in lab-on-chip systems
  • Apply general microfluidic theory and numerical simulation methods to analyze the findings presented in recent lab-on-chip research papers


Based on particularly chosen lab-on-a-chip systems (e.g. for manipulation of cells and separation of biomolecules) and numerical simulation, and with an engineering approach, you will be able to apply physical models to design new lab-on-a-chip systems.


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


This course will give you a practical 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


Rafael J. Taboryski , Lyngby Campus, Building 345B, Ph. (+45) 4525 8101 , rafael.taboryski@nanotech.dtu.dk


33 Department of Micro and Nanotechnology

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Last updated: 11. september, 2015