Microfluidics enables to conduct biological and chemical experiments in very small volumes of fluids. In basic and applied research, the volumes used in experiments usually range from 1 litre to 1 microlitre. Microfluidic devices allow to automate, control, and perform tests using even smaller volumes. Manufacturing of microfluidic devices is multidisciplinary, including the fields of mechanics, IT, engineering, material science, chemistry, and many others. Microfluidic technologies are applied in medical diagnostics, pharmacology, basic molecular biology research, space and nanotechnology research, organic and analytical chemistry, and many other areas. In microfluidics group we currently pursue research in two fields:
Droplet microfluidics for high-throughput assays by Professor Ott Scheler
Droplet microfluidics deals with generation, manipulation and analysis of small (pL-nL sized) droplets that act as tiny test tubes, where biological and chemical reactions take place. Typical droplet microfluidic experiment can involve generating and analysing hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of droplets. In our group we apply droplet microfluidic technologies for microbial analysis, especially to investigate different aspects of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Current members: Prof. Ott Scheler, Dr. Simona Bartkova, Pille Pata, Toomas Teekivi, Immanuel Sanka, Fenella Lucia Sulp.
Collaboration with LabOnChip group in TJS ELIN, TalTech
Digital microfluidics for chemical analysis by Dr. Jelena Gorbatšova
Digital microfluidics is a smart lab-on-a-chip platform system. Micro- and nanosize liquid droplets can be dispensed, moved, stored, mixed, reacted, or analyzed on the set of insulated electrodes by electric field. Opportunity to work with tiny size droplets can be especially beneficial working with samples that can not be obtained in large amounts. In our group we couple digital microfluidic system with various analytical techniques, namely, capillary electrophoresis with conductivity or fluorescence detector to create portable in-situ analyzer.
Current members: Dr. Jelena Gorbatšova, Professor Emeritus Mihkel Kaljurand, Jana Pavlenkova, Vyacheslav Bolkvadze
Information for prospective new members!
We encourage bachelor and master students to contact us if you are interested in doing your lab practice and thesis in our group. We have projects suitable for both chemistry and gene technology oriented students. Prospective students outside the institute (physics, IT, electronics etc.) are also welcome to investigate the opportunities.
Prospective PhD students and postdocs should contact leading researcher of either field to discuss funding opportunities