Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Henry Daniel Young (Committee Member), Raghavan Srinivasan (Committee Member), Sharmila M. Mukhopadhyay (Committee Member), Joseph F. Thomas, Jr. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)


Bulk quantities of spherical microbeads have various applications in research and industrial fields. Simple techniques are required to be developed in order to manipulate and modify large numbers of these beads simultaneously. In our experiment, a microchannel glass-based microfluidic device is used to actuate large numbers of microbeads in parallel. The microchannel glass used in these experiments contains channels 4.1 μm in diameter. The microbeads are polystyrene beads which are superparamagnetic in nature and 5-6 μm in diameter. An aqueous suspension of microbeads is injected into a 2-chamber fluid cell that contains a separator, microchannel glass. The beads are reversibly immobilized on the surface of the microchannel glass by the application of suction with the help of a syringe pump. Assessment of bead movement is performed using optical microscopy. Optical micrographs and the live video for various experimental results are presented. Several experiments were performed by varying flow rates in order to manipulate the beads and the data of flow rates is tabulated. The speed of the beads is calculated and is correlated with flow rates in different chambers. The results were studied by plotting the flow rates and speed of the beads. Microbeads are also immobilized by applying pressure in fluid cell. The pressure is applied by weights suspended and held on syringes at respective positions. Several experiments are performed by applying varied pressures in different chambers and these pressures are plotted. Optical micrographs and the live video for various applied pressures are presented.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded