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Advanced Microfluidics (Advanced Microfluidics - Lectures and Exercises)

Module EI71082

This Module is offered by TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2022 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2022SS 2021

Basic Information

EI71082 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered every semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Focus Area Bio-Sensors in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The course will start by briefly introducing the field of microfluidics and its importance in diagnostics, pharmaceutical, medicine, etc. We will succinctly discuss the benefits of going smaller (microscale) by highlighting the difference between laminar and turbulent flows. Important concepts in microfluidics, such as scaling laws, Brownian motion, capillary flow, flow resistance, pumping mechanisms, diffusive mixing, pressure drops, flow rates and velocities, channel designs and dimensions, interfacial tensions and instabilities, etc., will be revised briefly for the better understanding of subsequent topics. It is recommended but not compulsory to take the “BioMEMS and Microfluidics” course by Prof. Bernhard Wolfgang, where the above introductory topics are covered in detail. We will distinguish between the active (acoustofluidics, dielectrophoresis, magnetophoresis, optofluidics, etc.) and passive (hydrodynamics, inertial microfluidics, gravitational, pinch flow fractionation, etc.) microfluidic systems, and list their advantages and disadvantages. We will then proceed to discuss in detail major microfluidic techniques used to manipulate cells, particles, droplets, microorganisms, and fluids. We will learn how a combination of more than one technique, e.g., dielectrophoretic and gravitational forces, or pinched flow fractionation and optical forces, can be combined to realize a hybrid microfluidic system. Moreover, we will learn the mechanism of microfluidic droplet generation, single cell/molecule encapsulation and limitations imposed by Poison statistics. We will also discuss paper microfluidics, digital microfluidics, and microfluidics-based particle fabrication using continuous/stop flow lithography techniques. Moving along, we will discuss various applications, such as mixing, sorting, separation, concentration, patterning, encapsulation, etc., of these techniques mentioned above.
Course topics:
• Introduction to microfluidics
• Important concepts in microfluidics
• Active and passive microfluidics
• Hybrid microfluidic systems
• Droplet microfluidics
• Digital microfluidics
• Paper microfluidics
• Centrifugal microfluidics
• Microfluidic manufacturing
• Applications of microfluidics

Learning Outcome

After participation in this course, the student is able to:
1. compare various active and passive microfluidic techniques by highlighting their differences
2. describe the major principles of internal and external forces employed in microfluidic platforms
3. analyze various microfluidic fabrication techniques for microparticle manufacturing
4. design basic microfluidics systems by applying the knowledge acquired during the course


It is recommended but not compulsory to take the “BioMEMS and Microfluidics” course by Prof. Bernhard Wolfrum.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VI 4 Advanced Microfluidics Destgeer, G. Sahin, M. Werner, H. Thu, 15:00–18:00

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module will comprise lectures with integrated exercises (4SWS). The lectures will introduce the students to a range of microfluidic concepts and techniques, from very basic to very advanced. The course will provide an overview of the field of microfluidics to the students and would help them incorporate some of the acquired knowledge in their research projects in the future. During the exercise, the students will discuss and solve problems associated with microfluidics systems. This will help the students to achieve a deeper understanding of the topics, and to apply the taught concepts to practical tasks. This will help the students to acquire the teaching goals, which are listed above.


PowerPoint presentations will be used during the lectures, and made available via Moodle after each lecture.


[1] A. Menz, Microfluidics and Lab-On-A-Chip (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2020).
[2] H. Bruus, Theoretical Microfluidics (Oxford Master Series in Physics, 2007).
[3] B. J. Kirby, Micro- and Nanoscale Fluid Mechanics, 1st ed. (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2013).

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

Written exam: 100%
Exam duration: 90min
In the written exam, the students demonstrate their knowledge of microfluidics and associated physical phenomenon by answering short questions.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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