Development of a Microfluidic Device for Precise Control of Sample Delivery for ISFET Testing

Photograph of a sensor chip with attached pipette.

This project focuses on the development of a microfluidic system to enable precise biochemical sensing measurements. 

Project description

Ion Sensitive Field Effect Transistors (ISFETs) are micron-scale sensors that can be integrated with other electronics on a single silicon integrated circuit (“chip”), enabling very small, low power smart sensors. These chips can be as small as 2mm x 2mm and the ISFETs themselves are even smaller. In order to test the pH sensing ability of these chips, we use a micropipette to hold the solution to be measured on the chip. This micropipette must be manually filled and emptied by hand.

The goal for this project is to design and develop a controllable microfluidic system to perform these functions with high precision. For example, the system could pump the required pH solution from a storage reservoir to a fluid well on the chip. The chip would then measure the pH of the solution. Once the measurement is complete, the system would evacuate the fluid well to remove all the solution from the chip, preparing it for the next measurement. The system should allow this process to be repeatable for multiple different pH solutions located in separate storage reservoirs. The process should be controllable via software on a computer or microcontroller or similar.

Project outcome

The project deliverables should be:

  • A report and presentation that describes the microfluidic system design and operation
  • A prototype of the working system 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Spring
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Research experience; academic credit
Who is eligible Juniors and semiors who have taken fluidics on electronics courses

Project mentor

Albert Titus

Professor and Chair

Biomedical Engineering

Phone: (716) 645-1019


Start the project

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Preparation activities

The specific preparation activities for this project will be customized through discussions between you and your project mentor. Please be sure to ask them for the instructions to complete the required preparation activities.


Biomedical Engineering