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BioMEMS and Microfluidics

Module EI7473

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 WS 2019/20

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 2022WS 2019/20WS 2015/6

Basic Information

EI7473 is a semester module in German or 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
  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


We cover basic concepts and applications of microfluidics and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for biological applications. The module will bring together different aspects of electrodynamics, surface science, and fluid mechanics that describe the operation principles of micro- or nanofabricated lab-on-a-chip systems in life science applications. We start by introducing the general physical concepts followed by application examples. We then introduce cell-based microfluidic systems and functional biohybrids. In this context, we highlight selected techniques and models for on-chip neuroscience applications.

• Introduction to polymer-based microsystems & printing technologies
• Introduction to fluid mechanics: applications of the Navier-Stokes equation
• The diffuse structure of the electrical double layer
• Electroosmosis
• Electrophoresis
• Dielectrophoresis
• Magnetophoresis
• Electrowetting
• Droplet microfluidics
• Microfluidic cell culture systems: Network patterning & axon guiding
• Cell-chip communication & biohybrid systems
• On-chip neuroscience

Learning Outcome

After participation in this course, the student is able to:
1. compare different models for electrode/electrolyte interfaces and explain their limitations
2. illustrate the physical concepts and applications for on-chip particle and droplet actuation
3. understand the mechanisms of electrically and electrochemically coupled cell-chip interfaces
4. describe various methods of neuronal network patterning


Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology or equivalent.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module comprises lectures (2SWS) and exercises (2SWS). The lectures introduces the students to the concepts of BioMEMS and microfluidics. In order to individually monitor the learning progress, the students are given weekly problems related to the current lecture topics.
During the exercise, the students solve and discuss related problems. This helps the students to achieve a deeper understanding of the topics and learn to apply the taught concepts to practical tasks. In combination, this helps the students to acquire the teaching goals, which are listed above.


PowerPoint presentations as well as blackboard notes are used during the lecture and are made available via Moodle after the lecture.
During the exercise, exercise sheets are discussed using blackboard notes and solutions are made available via Moodle after the exercise.


[1] B. J. Kirby, Micro- and Nanoscale Fluid Mechanics, 1st ed. (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2013).
[2] A. J. Bard and L. R. Faulkner, Electrochemical Methods: Fundamentals and Applications, 2. (Wiley, New York, 2001).

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

Depending on participant count either a written exam (90 min, 100% of the grade) or individual oral exams (20 min, 100% of the grade) will be offered.
In either exam, the students demonstrate their knowledge of BioMEMS and associated physical phenomena by answering questions without supporting material. They will also show their ability to transfer the conveyed concepts by solving BioMEMS- and microfluidics-related problems.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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