Team:BostonU HW/Notebook




  • The BostonU Wetlab and Hardware iGEM teams participated in joint Wetlab safety and protocol training
  • The team performed an initial literature review in order to learn more about the types of microfluidic devices being design
  • The team was given a software overview/explanation of the three CIDAR lab microfluidic design tools: 3Duf, Fluigi, and Neptune
  • The team was given an overview/explanation of the CIDAR lab microfluidic design manufacturing process: Makerfluidics


  • From the literature review, each member chose one chip of interest to replicate and test
    1. LAMP Chip[1]
      • 3 iterations designed in Fluigi
      • 5 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
    2. Multiplex Drug Testing Chip[2]
      • 2 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
      • 1 iteration designed in Fluigi
    3. Magnetic Mixer Chip[3]
      • 5 Iterations milled and tested
      • Magnetic particles introduced into chip
      • Experimented with different protocols
  • BostonU Wetlab iGEM Team Collaboration began
    • At the initial meeting BostonU Wetlab provided BostonU Hardware with a protocol they thought could be performed in a microfluidic device
    • 6 potential chips designed for Wetlab collaboration
  • Submitted Microfluidics iGEM Poll to the iGEM collaborations page
  • Volume Dispensing Chips
    • 3 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
  • Alternative Tree Primitive Designs
    • Given repeat difficulties faced while using trees in designs, alternative designs were tested to determine if there was a better design
    • 3 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
  • Transformation Chip
    • 6 Iterations designed in Fluigi
    • 2 Iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
  • Cell Sorting
    • 1 iteration milled and tested
    • Magnetic particles run through chip
  • Attended Northeastern iGEM practice conference (NEGEM) at BU
    • Received feedback on iGEM narrative
    • Developed project ideas based off of feedback
  • MARS Repository begins to form after talking with researchers from CILSE’s Biological Design Center


  • Alternative Tree Primitive Designs
    • 1 iteration designed in 3Duf and tested
    • 1This design was markedly better at dispensing liquid equally, therefore it was used in later designs
  • Cell Lysis Chip
    • 3 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
    • Changes made to fix issues with fluid input and mixing
    • Initial draft of protocol written
  • Wetlab Collaboration Chip
    • 4 iterations milled
    • Sealing issues improved upon
    • Testing done with shared liquid input
  • DNA Digestion Chip
    • 4 iterations milled
    • Iterations made to better replicate protocol on a chip
    • Pipetting chamber designed and optimized for chip
  • BostonU Hardware visits BosLab during monthly showcase
    • Provided insight into what small scale biohacker space is like, and what synthetic biology community is looking for in microfluidics
  • Fluid Functionality begins to be developed
    • Idea of primitive level analysis developed along with some qualitative failures
  • Worked with Neptune (2016 BostonU Hardware Team) automated syringe pumps tried to increase accuracy and improve function
  • MARS Repository chips began to be placed in subsections of isolation, modification, and quantification
  • Transformation Chip
    • 2 iterations designed in Fluigi
    • 8 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
    • Changes made to overall design as well as valve sizes
  • Summer Pathways
    • Participated in Summer Pathways alongside the BostonU Wetlab Team
    • Created an interactive microfluidics design activity for the attending high school students
    • Engaged with students to design microfluidic devices based on synbio protocols
  • Harvard iGEM Team Collaboration
    • Initial meetings to discuss plans
  • WPI iGEM Team Collaboration
    • During the initial Skype call we discussed the nature of their lead assay and how it might be moved onto a microfluidic
    • Their team visited our lab and performed verified their assay’s functionality on the BU spectrometer
  • Tutorial Videos
    • PDMS video filmed
  • Peristaltic Pump Chip[4]
    • Design inspired by another paper with different geometries
    • 4 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
  • Metering Primitive
    • In order to allow for accurate volume dispensing on a microfluidic device, a metering primitive inspired by the peristaltic pump was designed
    • 2 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested


  • Transformation Chip
    • 13 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
    • Different valve dimensions tested
  • Ligation Chip
    • 2 iterations designed in 3Duf
  • Tutorial Videos
    • PDMS Video finalized
    • Milling Video recording and scripting completed
  • DNA Digestion
    • 2 iterations milled and tested
  • Wetlab Collaboration Chip
    • 1 iteration milled and tested
  • Cell Lysis Chip
    • Design finalized
    • Testing with magnetic particles in chamber
  • Cell Culturing[6]
    • Initial CAD model designed and tested
    • Spin coated PDMS
    • Second and final CAD model designed and tested
  • Wiki
    • Initial pages started to be constructed
    • Wiki architecture organized
  • Fluid Functionality
    • Quantitative tests begin to be developed


  • Transformation Chip
    • 1 iteration designed in 3Duf and tested
    • Different valve dimension tested
  • Tutorial Videos
    • Milling video finalized
    • Assembly video filmed and scripted
    • Cleaning video filmed and audio recorded
  • Fluid Functionality
    • Channels quantitative tests finalized
  • Antibiotic Resistance[5]
    • Initial design developed
  • Wetlab Collaboration Chip
    • 2 Iterations milled and tested
    • Protocol and design finalized
    • Chip tested by Wetlab


  • Transformation Chip
    • 4 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
    • Different metering scales tested
  • PCR Chip
    • 4 iterations designed in 3Duf and tested
  • Cell Sorting
    • 2 iterations milled and tested
    • Protocol finalized and documented
  • Ligation Chip
    • 1 iteration designed in 3Duf
  • Video tutorials
    • Assembly video finalized
    • Cleaning video finalized
  • WPI iGEM Team Collaboration chip design documented finalized
  • Attended Northeastern iGEM practice conference #2 (NEGEM) at MIT
    • Received feedback on iGEM presentation
    • Incorporated feedback for final presentation
  • Fluid Functionality
    • Valve quantitative test finalized
    • Mixer quantitative test finalized
  • Antibiotic Resistance
    • Design finalized using 3Duf
    • Milled and documented
  • Harvard iGEM Collaboration
    • Validated Harvard optical density sensor


  1. Tourlousse, D. M., Ahmad, F., Stedtfeld, R. D., Seyrig, G., Tiedje, J. M., & Hashsham, S. A. (2012). A polymer microfluidic chip for quantitative detection of multiple water- and foodborne pathogens using real-time fluorogenic loop-mediated isothermal amplification. Biomedical Microdevices, 14(4), 769–778.
  2. Mohan, R., Mukherjee, A., Sevgen, S. E., Sanpitakseree, C., Lee, J., Schroeder, C. M., & Kenis, P. J. A. (2013). A multiplexed microfluidic platform for rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 49, 118–125.
  3. Liang-Hsuan Lu, Kee Suk Ryu, & Chang Liu. (2002). A magnetic microstirrer and array for microfluidic mixing. Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 11(5), 462–469.
  4. Nguyen, T. V., Duncan, P. N., Ahrar, S., & Hui, E. E. (2012). Semi-autonomous liquid handling via on-chip pneumatic digital logic. Lab on a Chip, 12(20), 3991.
  5. Hou, H. W., Bhagat, A. A. S., Lin Chong, A. G., Mao, P., Wei Tan, K. S., Han, J., & Lim, C. T. (2010). Deformability based cell margination—A simple microfluidic design for malaria-infected erythrocyte separation. Lab on a Chip, 10(19), 2605.
  6. Lee KS, Boccazzi P, Sinskey AJ, Ram RJ. Microfluidic chemostat and turbidostat with flow rate, oxygen, and temperature control for dynamic continuous culture. Lab Chip. 2011;11(10):1730-9.