Microfluidics Meets Microbiology

Participating Faculties: Engineering (Host) and Science

Project Leader: Jun Yang

Total Project Funding: $ 69,000

Funding Period: 3 years

Microfluidics based Lab-on-a-chip technology exhibits an unprecedented perspective in studying microbiology and biochemistry. With microfluidic technology, researchers can manipulate and probe individual cells, and can precisely control their microenvironments. Thus microfluidics enables quantitative measurements with high biological/chemical selectivity and sensitivity, as well as high temporal and spatial resolution. This IDI proposal envisages Western becoming a national leader in multidisciplinary research and education in bionanotechnology and related subjects. As a part of the Western’s overall efforts to accomplish this, the research team plans to apply microfluidic technology to answer essential microbiology questions.

The combination of microfluidics and microbiology also opens a brand new field for education, specifically, bionanotechnology.  In the aspect of education, the research team aims:

  • (i) to train undergraduate and graduate students in the interdisciplinary research subject of bionanotechnology,
  • (ii) to incorporate the results from the proposed research to the courses which they teach in the Faculties of Science and Engineering, and
  • (iii) to jointly create new graduate/undergraduate courses. In addition to knowledge transmission, this team will also introduce modern teaching/learning concepts in their classroom teaching such as case-based study.

The three participants, Dr. Jun Yang, Dr. Gordon Southam and Dr. Leo Lau, together represent 2 faculties, 5 academic departments, 1 academic division and 2 special research centers. With their expertise respectively in microfluidics, microfabrication, microbiology, environmental science, microelectronics and surface engineering, they are confident in achieving the proposed interdisciplinary initiatives in all aspects of research, teaching and training.