Inertial Microfluidics – Continuous Cell and Particle Manipulation at the Microscale

2009-2010 IGERT- Lifechips Seminar Series

Featuring Dino Di Carlo, Ph.D.
Department of Bioengineering
California NanoSystems Institute

Location: CalIT2, room 3008
Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided

For more information on seminar and Lifechips program, please visit


Inertial components of the Navier-Stokes equations are usually not considered in microfluidic flows but have recently been shown to be of great practical use for continuous manipulation of particles and cells. I will demonstrate several unique phenomena that allow for sorting, focusing, and ordering of cells and particles in three dimensions under continuous flow with a single fluid input. I will briefly discuss inertial migration theory and our recent results investigating effects of particle size and deformability on migration behavior, and the possibility of measuring and sorting based on these parameters. Based on our current best focusing systems I will also present results on using inertial focusing to create an extreme throughput flow cytometer for blood analysis.  Controlled inertially focused streams of particles are poised to provide next-generation filter-less filters and simplified flow cytometry instruments which ultimately may aid in water treatment environmental cleanup, cost-effective medical diagnostics, and industrial filtration & waste minimization.

About the Speaker:
Dino Di Carlo is an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he directs the Microfluidic Biotechnology Laboratory. He received a B.S. degree in bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002 and received a Ph.D. degree in bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco in 2006 in Luke Lee’s BioPOETS Lab. He then conducted postdoctoral studies from 2006-2008 at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital under the guidance of Mehmet Toner. His research focuses on exploiting unique physics, microenvironment control, and the potential for automation associated with miniaturized systems for applications in basic biology, medical diagnostics, and cellular engineering.