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Flint's Engineering Portfolio

Surface Chemistry and Microfluidics for Tunneling and Magnetic Sequencing Experiments

Detection of single molecules requires both quality control of the molecules in question and also a replicable method for doing chemistry on them. I designed and built a microfluidic system with an interchangeable components that allowed for doing cleaning and immobilization chemistries for both quality control (imaging) and for use on active experimental pieces. This system required grounding for dealing with highly ESD sensitive devices. Successfully replicated heterogenous immobilization of our nanoparticles for both study of the nanoparticles and experiments with them.

Surface Chemistry

Below is a generic view of a procedure for the immobilization of nanoparticles that we tested and then used in our microfluidic system for our actual tunneling experiments. The microscopy images below are taken from academic papers to symbolize the type of results achieved, not actual images from Roche. 

I contributed to every element this work along with a more senior colleague of mine by reading scientific literature to help in experimental design, purchasing chemistry equipment (tools, chemicals) necessary to host the experiments, doing the surface chemistry experiments, and using STM/AFM microscopy to understand our results and inform further experimentation and the microfluidic design.

Silanization (1).png


3D prints used for reproducible environments to do gluing of microfluidic pieces as well as for mounting microfluidic pieces for organization of the system. To protect any important from Roche, no relevant labels, terms or identifiers are included from these pictures and only general layouts are shown.

I led this project by designing the fluidic system, identifying and buying lab equipment, flow-cell design (I was helped with this by another colleague), building and testing the microfluidic schematic, programming different chemistry sequences, and implementing our surface chemistries both in testing and with live, ESD sensitive, expensive devices. This microfluidic system was used in experiments that provided proof of concept of our novel sequencing methods. 

Different iterations and chemistries required different numbers of microfluidic elements or more complex pumping schematics.

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