Grade Range
9th-12th
Group Size
1
Total Time
45 minutes
Area of Science
Mechanical Engineering
Medical Biotechnology
Key Concepts
microfluidics, flow rate, soft lithography
Credits
TeachEngineering logo

Overview

Students create large-scale models of microfluidic devices using a process similar to that of the PDMS and plasma bonding that is used in the creation of lab-on-a-chip devices. They use disposable foam plates, plastic bendable straws and gelatin dessert mix. After the molds have hardened overnight, they use plastic syringes to inject their model devices with colored fluid to test various flow rates. From what they learn, students are able to answer the challenge question presented in lesson 1 of this unit by writing individual explanation statements.

Engineering Connection

Biomedical, medical, chemical, electrical, mechanical, materials and computer engineers are all involved in assisting biologists and physicians in developing devices that enable us to more easily and efficiently observe and test microscopic cell interactions and reactions. Engineers design microfluidic devices to simulate how the body works and reacts. Microfluidic devices are made by making a master copy, from which an infinite number of copies can be made. Soft lithography is the most common method, and involves the replication of the master in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which is then bonded to a glass microscope slide.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.
ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution. Criteria may need to be broken down into simpler ones that can be approached systematically, and decisions about the priority of certain criteria over others (trade-offs) may be needed.

Reviews

|
Science Buddies |
Was this review helpful?
Be the first one to review this lesson plan.
Grade Range
9th-12th
Group Size
1
Total Time
45 minutes
Area of Science
Mechanical Engineering
Medical Biotechnology
Key Concepts
microfluidics, flow rate, soft lithography
Credits
TeachEngineering logo
Free science fair projects.