Key Speakers

Professor Seyed Ali Mousavi Shaegh

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Clinical Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, 2016-Present
Education experiences:
PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, 2012
Research Scientist at Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technologies, Department of Microfluidic Systems, 2012-2014
Postdoc Fellow at Harvard University, 2014-2016
Title of talk:
Rapid Prototyping Methods for Fabrication of Thermoplastic-based Microfluidic Chips
Abstract of Talk:
Recently, there has been an increasing effort in developing new fabrication methods for rapid prototyping of microfluidic chips using thermoplastic materials. This is mainly due to the excellent properties of thermoplastics including inherent robustness to mechanical deformation and resistance to chemicals. In this presentation, our recent research achievements on the development of rapid prototyping methods to fabricate microfluidic chips from thermoplastic materials with embedded pneumatic controls will be discussed. CO2 laser micromachining method was employed to engrave and cut poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) sheets, which together with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) film, enabled fabrication of various functional microfluidic elements including microvalves, micropumps, and bioreactors. A thermal fusion bonding method was developed to bond TPU film to the PMMA components in a single step. A peristaltic micropump was also fabricated consisting of sequential interconnected gas-actuated microvalves. In addition, results from cell cultures in fabricated whole-thermoplastic bioreactors demonstrated biocompatibility of the whole-thermoplastic microchips.
 

Professor Mehdi Fardmanesh

School of Electrical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
Biography:
Mehdi Fardmanesh received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University in 1993, as a member of Ben Franklin superconductivity research center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1994 he came back to his homeland Iran teaching at Electrical Engineering and Physics departments at Sharif University of technology while having activities in private-sectors forming the first science based industrial sectors in Iran. From 1996, till 2002 he was with EEE Department of Bilkent University, in Ankara and ISI-Forschungszentrum Juelich, Juelich, Germany, leading an international project as the director for development of high-resolution high-Tc SQUID-based magnetic imaging system (SQUID microscope) for nanotechnology and biomedical applications. In 2000, he reestablished his activities with the EE Department of Sharif University, where he is a tenured professor and head of the superconductor electronics Research Laboratory (SERL), which he established in 2002 and he has directed since then.
Title of  talk:
Microfluidics for Assisted Reproduction Technology
Abstract of Talk:
Infertility as an important global health issue, has grown in the recent years and has caused considerable economic and social implications for people and governments all over the world and can have serious negative impacts in the near future. The number of assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles are increased for about four times from 2000 to 2010. However, the success rate of ART per cycle is plateaued at ~33%. Microfluidics – as a mature technology in other biomedical applications – has a great potential to improve the success rate of the existing clinical methods. By using microfluidics, the properties and characteristics of gametes can be investigated to pave the way to achieve more efficient and practical diagnostic and therapeutic methods. In addition, microfluidic approaches seem promising tools for engineers and biologists to enhance current practices’ efficiency and effectiveness for infertility diagnosis and treatment. In this talk, the fabrication and the capabilities of the Microfluidics technology with respect to the above applications will be presented.
 

Professor Leslie Yeo

RMIT University, Australia
Research area:
Acoustics, Microfluidics, Drug Delivery, Colloid & Interface Science
Education and experiences:
MEng (1998), PhD (2002) Imperial College London
2002-2003: Mathematical Modeller, Det Norske Veritas UK
2003-2005: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Notre Dame, USA
2005-2011: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Australian Research Fellow, Monash University, Australia
2011-Present: Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow, RMIT University, Australia
Title of  talk:
Acoustofluidics: Manipulating Fluids at the Microscale and Nanoscale for Biomedical Applications
Abstract of Talk:
Though uncommon in most microfluidic systems due to the dominance of viscous and capillary stresses, it is possible to induce inertial transport at microscale and nanoscale dimensions using ultrasonic excitation. In particular, microfluidic actuation and manipulation is particularly efficient when driven using MHz order surface acoustic waves (SAWs), which are nanometer order amplitude electroelastic waves that can be generated on a piezoelectric substrate. Due to the confinement of the high frequency acoustic energy to a thin localized region along the substrate surface and its subsequent leakage into the body of liquid with which the substrate comes into contact, SAWs are an extremely efficient mechanism for driving ultrafast microfluidics. We demonstrate that it is possible to generate a variety of efficient microfluidic flows using the SAW. For example, SAWs can be exploited to pump liquids in microchannels or to translate free droplets typically one or two orders of magnitude faster than conventional electroosmotic or electrowetting technology. Moreover, it is possible to drive strong microcentrifugation to induce efficient micromixing and bioparticle concentration/separation. At large input powers, the SAW is also a powerful means for the generation of jets and nebulized aerosol droplets through rapid destabilization of the parent drop interface. For example, slender liquid jets persisting up to centimeters in length can be generated without requiring nozzles or orifices, or alternatively, a monodispersed distribution of 1–5 micron diameter aerosol droplets is obtained, which can be exploited for drug delivery and encapsulation, nanoparticle synthesis, and template-free polymer array patterning. Besides highlighting these and other applications possible with SAW microfluidics, we also uncover the fundamental physical mechanisms responsible for the rich and complex phenomena arising from the highly nonlinear fluid-structural interaction at high MHz frequencies, which include novel colloidal pattern formation, thin film instabilities and capillary wave dynamics.
 

Professor Mojtaba Taghipoor

Faculty of mechanical engineering, Sharif University of Technology
Education experiences:
PhD in Microsystems and Microelectronics, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Title of  talk:
Nanofluidics for single molecule manipulation
Abstract of Talk:
Nanofluidics has opened a new window into the world of manipulation and sensing of nanoscale species. Promising applications has been offered in sensing and manipulation of molecules of different types such as DNAs, proteins and viruses as well as small ions. Different approaches in fabrication of nanoscale channels as well as manipulation of small species and gating techniques have been introduced. Lately, sequencing single DNAs and sensing viruses were shown to be possible using nanofluidics systems.
In this talk, the latest developments in fabrication techniques and applications of nanofluidics systems are presented. A particular attention is given to the methods allowing gating of nanofluidic transport, which provides the possibility of manipulation of molecules at the small scale.
 

Professor Nima Arjmandi

Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Education experiences:
PhD from IMEC, MSc from Sharif University of Technology, BSc from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Title of  talk:
Microfluidic Displays
Abstract of Talk:
Paper microfluidics is a low cost technique suitable for fabrication of simple, single use and analytical devices, especially colorimetric sensors. We have developed a simple process flow to fabricate paper microfluidic systems. Using this method, we have fabricated low cost and reliable devices to measure nitrate and nitrite concentrations in water or saliva with potential applications in hemodialysis and drinking water examination. By improving the device’s design, we have obtained larger limit of detection and more reliable reads.
 

Professor Hadi Shafiee

Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Research area:
Microfluidics, Digital Health, Nanotechnology
Education and experiences:
INSTITUTION AND LOCATION DEGREE (if applicable) Completion Date MM/YYYY FIELD OF STUDY
Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran BS 06/01 Mechanical Engineering
University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran MS 06/03 Mechanical Engineering
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA PhD 12/10 Engineering Mechanics
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology, Boston, MA Postdoctoral 11/14 Point-of-Care Diagnostics, HIV/AIDS, Global Health
Title of  talk:
Cellphone-based micro/nanotechnologies with applications in medicine and biology
Abstract of Talk:
The advances in micro- and nano-technologies and the surge in consumer electronics have paved a solid foundation for developing mobile health (mhealth) technologies with the potential to transform the current paradigm in global health. In this talk, Dr. Shafiee will present examples of how smartphones can be seamlessly integrated with hardware, software, and microfluidics to develop point-of-care diagnostic devices to address clinical gaps in the management of infectious diseases and infertility.
 

Professor Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani

University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Education and experiences:
  1. PhD, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Jan 2009- Jan 2012)
  2. Postdoc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SMART center), Boston, USA (Jan 2012- Apr 2014)
  3. Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (Apr 2014- Apr 2017)
  4. Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia (July 2017- present)
Title of  talk:
Novel Microfluidic Systems for Biomedical Research
Abstract of Talk:
Microfluidics, a technology characterized by the engineered manipulation of fluids at the micro-scale, has shown considerable promise in point-of-care diagnostics and clinical research. Microfluidic platforms are creating powerful tools for cell biologists to control the complete cellular microenvironment, leading to new questions and new discoveries. By simply miniaturizing macroscopic systems and taking advantage of the possibility of massive parallel processing, some microfluidic chips enable high-throughput biological experiments such as cell sorting, single cell analysis, PCR, ELISA and chromatography. This revolution promises to bring with it better ways to detect cancer and other diseases, as well as a more efficient drug-discovery process. Over the past 7 years, I have developed a number of microfluidic systems, which are translated into practice. In this seminar, I will describe our recent efforts in development of new miniaturized systems for particle and cell separation, suitable for different industries. I will show case our novel systems for high-throughput cell rare cell sorting (circulating tumour cells (CTCs), circulating fetal cells, and circulating stem cells) and their clinical utilities. I will present some of our efforts for large-scale manufacturing and enrichment of hybridoma cells inside perfusion bioreactors for drug development and therapeutic applications. In addition, I will present some of our new 2D and 3D microfluidics systems for single cell analysis, stem cell research and drug screening.
 

Professor Hamid Latifi

Laser and Plasma Research Institute Shahid beheshti University
Title of talk:
Optofluidics application in sorting, manipulation and measurement
Abstract of Talk:

Optofluidics has found many applications in physics, chemistry and biology. In this talk we will cover some of the optofluidic-based miniaturized optical systems and sensors realized by our group. As for optical systems, we have developed a controllable droplet-based optofluidic PWM with the modulating frequency range of 7.1 Hz to 43.7 Hz and the duty cycle range of 24.1% to 70.5% with the highest uncertainty of 2.4 Hz and 2.8%, respectively. Another type optical system followed in our group is the optical manipulation of microparticles and microdroplets.

We have utilized fiber laser based approach that allow for easy separation of microdropled based on the size and refractive index in microchannel. In this method, the droplets are irradiated by a CW fiber laser. The scattering force push and deflects microdroplets in the direction of the laser beam propagation. This deflection depends on the droplet size, refractive index and the laser beam properties.

As for optical sensors, we have realized different schemes for optical detection of the flow rate, temperature and refractive index of fluids inside the microchannel. The optofluidic flowmeters based on interferometers or waveguides realized by our group are capable of measuring the fluid flow rates with a resolution down to 5 nl/min and 30 nl/min, respectively. Another technique to accurately measure flow rate, concentration, and temperature in real-time in micro total analysis systems (µTAS) is crucial when improving their practical sensing capabilities within extremely small volumes. Our label– free infrared (1500-1600 nm) opto-fluidic method, presented in this study, utilizes a cantilever-based flow meter integrated with two parallel optical fiber Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPIs). The first FPI serves as an ultra-sensitive flow meter and includes a Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) tip for localized temperature sensing. The second FPI has a fabricated photopolymer micro-tip for highly sensitive refractive index (RI) determination. In this work, we performed a 3-D simulation analysis to characterize cantilever deflection, temperature distribution and its effect on RI. The experimental results from temperature cross-sensitivity analysis, leads to real-time measurement resolutions of 5 nL·min-1, 1×10-6 RIU and 0.05 Co, for flow rate, refractive index, and temperature, respectively

Moreover, we have also fabricated an optofluidic sensor which utilizes a cantilever-based flow meter integrated with two parallel optical fiber Fabry–Perot interferometers (FPIs) to accurately measure the flow rate, concentration, and temperature in real-time. The experimental results from temperature cross-sensitivity analysis lead to real-time measurement resolutions of 5 nL min−1, 1 × 10−6 RIU and 0.05 °C, for the flow rate, refractive index, and temperature, respectively.

 

Professor Kheyrollah Majidi

The Center for Progress and Development (CPDI) of Iran Presidency
Research area:
Policy making in Science & Technology
Education and experiences:
PhD in Public Policy (2010) Tehran University
Assistant Professor and Advisor to the Center for the Advancement and Development of Iran (CPDI)
Head of Microfluidics development Project in CPDI
Title of talk:
The Microfluidics development prospect in Iran
Abstract of Talk: Microfluidic devices offer automation and high-throughput screening, and operate at low volumes of consumables. Although microfluidics has the potential to reduce turnaround times and costs for analytical devices, particularly in medical, veterinary, and environmental sciences, this enabling technology has had limited diffusion into consumer products. On the other hand, According to latest studies, the Market of Microfluidics devices estimated at USD 2.97 billion in 2015 is projected to reach USD 7.11 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 19.08% over the forecast period. The field of microfluidics has become one of the most dynamically emerging disciplines of micro technology in the recent decade. Microfluidics offers the benefit of miniaturization enabling portable and inexpensive devices.
This lecture, express the activities carried out by the Center for Progress and Development of Iran (CPDI), outlines the road map outlining future plans and direction of the commercialization of products.
 

Dr. Zahra Barikbin

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - University of Alberta
Research area:
Multiphase Microfluidics, Chemical Separation and Sensing, Advanced Material Synthesis
Education and experiences:
BSc (2005), MSc (2007): Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)
PhD (2013): Singapore-MIT Alliance (National University of Singapore (NUS)- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))
2013-2015: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Toronto, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Canada
2015-2016: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Alberta, Department of Chemical and Material Engineering, Canada
Title of talk:
Multiphase Microfluidics for Chemical Analysis, Separations and Material Synthesis with Tunable Functionalities
Abstract of Talk:
We leverage the unique control of microfluidic systems over the formation of multiphase fluid interfaces to perform chemical analysis, separations and material synthesis with defined properties. Digital or droplet-based microfluidics involves high-throughput generation and manipulation of discrete droplets/bubbles flowing in an immiscible liquid inside a microchannel. The ability to rapidly compartmentalize chemical and biological reactions into picoliter drops and perform automated analysis on each individual drop promises to revolutionize laboratory-based experimentation, enabling both time-resolved kinetic measurements and rapid exploration of large experimental parameter spaces. We first present a new and general droplet-based microfluidic scheme with biphasic compound droplets in which flowing droplets function not only as isolated reaction flasks, but are also capable of on-drop separation and sensing. To demonstrate this, ionic liquids (ILs) are chosen as designer liquids whose chemical and physical properties can be tailored in task-specific fashion. Ionic Liquids are liquid salts composed of organic cations and organic or inorganic anions. They possess a range of remarkable properties including high electrical conductivity, excellent thermal stability, very low volatility as well as wide range of solvability. The formation of partially engulfed IL-aqueous biphasic droplets with tunable morphologies is described with the aim to introduce a new platform for lab on-droplets that enables the integration of chemical unit operations on complex droplets. The examined passive methods to completely decouple the two components of compound droplets and to split such droplets at simple microchannel networks will be illustrated. To expolit the proposed complex microfluidic emulsions with chemically functional fluids, we demonstrate A) two analytical applications of IL-aqueous compound droplets in selective separation of a binary mixture of organic molecules and dynamic pH sensing and B) a reactive sensing scheme for rapid and non-invasive biphasic chemical analyses that are inaccessible at the macroscale.
Microscale soft materials possessing diverse chemistries and geometries (e.g. microgel beads and tubes) have attracted tremendous research and commercial interest over the past decade due to their potential applications in drug delivery, cell encapsulation, as tissue engineering scaffolds in vascular systems and all internal organs, and in chemical sensing. Here we present A) microfluidic formation of monodisperse polymerized IL microgels (PILs) and B) 3D bioprinting of vascularized tissues/hydrogel tubes with precise control over the range of applicable morphologies and sizes. The incorporation of ionic liquids into macromolecular architectures to modulate their intriguing features has recently attracted enormous interest in material science. PILs have enhanced stability, improved processability, durability, in addition to control over their meso- to nano-structure while retaining all the salient features of ionic liquids. Despite several advances in the application of PILs, there are no robust and reliable methods to fabricate these particles with strict control over structure and monodispersity. We elaborate a simple capillary-based microfluidics technique for fabrication of highly monodisperse PIL microgel beads with a multitude of functionalities that could be chemically switched in a facile fashion by anion exchange and further enhanced by molecular inclusion. Specifically, exquisite control over bead size and shape enables extremely precise quantitative measurements of anion- and solvent-induced volume transitions in these materials. Later, by exchanging diverse anions into the synthesized microgel beads, stimuli responsiveness and various functionalities are demonstrated including controlled release of chemical payloads, toxic metal removal from water, and robust and reversible pH sensing. Soft material tubes play essential roles in the vascular systems from plants to humans, as well as in almost every internal organ. We hereby also present a method that allows continuous homogeneous and heterogeneous formation of tubular soft materials in a single step. This approach allowed for the controlled and consistent extrusion of tubes with tailored diameters, thicknesses, and compositions. Following this we studied chip-based hydrogel tube fixation and perfusion. To show the versatile power of multiphase microfluidics on high-throughput material formation, we also illustrate microfluidic processes that are capable of controllably synthesizing micro and nanocrystals with precisely defined properties and varying shapes and sizes.
 

Professor Mohammad Reza Ejtehadi

Sharif University of Technology
Research area:
Soft and Biological matters
Education and experiences:
  • Ph.D. in Physics
    Soft Condensed Matter Physics,
    "Equilibrium Structures of Heteropolymers and Inter-monomer Interactions"
    Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran 1998.
  • Master of Science
    Theoretical Physics,
    "Geometry of Random Walk"
    Tehran University, Tehran, Iran 1992.
  • Bachelor of Physics,
    Tehran University, Tehran, Iran 1987.
 
  • Physics Professor at “Sharif University of Technology”, Tehran, Iran, 2013– present.
  • Physics Associate Professor at “Sharif University of Technology”, Tehran, Iran, 2008– 2013.
  • Physics Assistant Professor at “Sharif University of Technology”, Tehran, Iran, 2004 – 2008.
  • Research Associate, “Institute for studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IPM)”, Tehran, Iran, 2004 - 2008.
  • Research Associate, Professor Steve Plotkin’s Group, “Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia”, Vancouver, Canada, 2002 – 2004.
  • Post-Doctoral fellow, Professor Kurt Kremer’s group, “Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research”, Mainz, Germany, 1999 – 2002.
Title of talk:
Micro swimmers and chemotaxis
Abstract of Talk: The problem of swimming at a low Reynolds number is relevant to life on the microscales. But swimming is not enough as the living cells should look for what they need.
Many simple and self-propelled micro-swimmers at low Reynolds numbers have been suggested. Here I review the swimmers and introduce 2 and 3 dimensional model swimmers with ability of chemotaxis. The ability that let them to sense their environment and to look for food
 

Professor Mohammad Hashemi

Scientist at EPFL, Switzerland
Research area:
Microfluidics, Hydrogen Energy, Fuel Cells, Electrochemical Engineering.
Education and experiences:
2012-2017: PhD in Microengineering, EPFL
2008-2011: MSc in Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran
2004-2008: BSc in Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran
Title of talk:
Microfluidic Energy Conversion Devices
Abstract of Talk:
The energy coming from renewable resources is boosting its share in the energy portfolio of the world’s economy thanks to the technological advances in the photovoltaic and wind turbine industries. In order to keep this upward trend, this green industry has to deal with its biggest challenge: matching the supply and demand. Valorization of the energy coming from these resources through electrochemical synthesis of valuable chemicals such as hydrogen and chlorine compounds is a promising pathway in this regard. In my talk, I will explain how microfluidic principles can help these processes to become simpler, more efficient, and less expensive.