Virtual Prototyping of Microfluidic Devices

Virtual Prototyping as a Powerful Tool in the Design Process of Microfluidic, Lab-on-Chip, and Organ-on-Chip Devices

Testing and Optimization of Blood-Processing Microfluidic Devices and Bio-Chips. One specific focus of our work lies on the detailed modeling of flow and transport of blood cells in microfluidic and biomedical devices. Our blood models not only fully resolve relevant physics down to the sub-micrometer scale but also include models for cell biochemistry such as for membrane receptors and factors that play an important role in cellular haemostasis. Using these models transport, adhesion, and aggregation of cells in blood vessels and microfluidic and organ-on-a-chip devices can be predicted.

The future of medical testing. One of the most familiar of the so called ‘point-of-care’ devices is the glucose test that patients with diabetes use to test the sugar levels in their blood. By pricking their finger and applying a drop of blood onto a small strip, a small handheld medical device can analyse their blood in only a short time. It helps them to determine whether or not to take their insuline medication. This small medical device, that can be used at any time and in any place, is termed a point-of-care device. Due to their ease of use much research is being done to develop point-of-care devices for a wide variety of medical conditions (e.g. malaria, sexual transmittable deseases). Each medical condition, however, requires its own testing procedure and its own pretreatment of blood. Some may want to get rid of the red blood cells to have a better look at the blood plasma while others may want to concentrate white blood cells to look at their activity. Many different techniques exist to achieve separation or concentration of such particles.

Benchmarks and Examples