High Frequency Dielectrophoresis for Separating Microalgae
• 425 sq. ft. of general lab space
• 200 sq. ft. photolithography room
• 350W UV flood lamp
• 2 laminar flow hoods
• Nikon TE-2000U inverted microscope
• Nikon SMZ745 stereo microscope
• 5MP Nikon DSFi1 color CCD camera
• Carver hydraulic press
Dielectrophoresis refers to the motion of uncharged particles in a
non-uniform electric field. We hypothesize that by applying a
high-frequency (10's of MHz) we will be able to sort microalgae on
the basis of lipid content. We are currently gathering preliminary
data that will prove our hypothesis. Funded by a 2012 Oak Ridge
Associated Universities Ralph Powe Junior Faculty Award.
Wireless Sensor Networks for Large-scale Algae Cultivation
Microalgae technology continues to show tremendous promise for
becoming a major source of renewable transportation fuel in the
coming decades. However, for microalgae to provide a significant
fraction of the current US demand for fuel will require their cultivation
on an enormous scale. Among the many formidable challenges that
will need to be met in achieving this scale will be the development of
appropriate sensor networks to provide information about growth
conditions and the algae themselves. We have currently built a
wireless network that measures pH, temperature, and dissolved
oxygen. This network has been tested at the NASA OMEGA
facitlities in Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA. In the future we plan
on exploring novel sensors. Funded by the Nevada NASA Space
Microfludics for High-Throughput Culturing of Microalgae
There are over 40,000 species of microalgae (not to mentions the
mutants of these species) of which only a few hundred have been
studied for biofuel production. We are developing tools that can help
accelerate this research. Currently we are exploring microfluidic
devices that can culture algae faster than current techniques.
Funded by the Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium.
Maskless Photolithography Using an Epi-fluorescent Microscope for Microfluidic Applications
While the rise of soft-lithographical techniques has lowered the barrier to entry into microfluidics, the
photolithographical steps still represent a hurdle for many researchers. We have developed a technique for
fabricating molds suitable for casting PDMS based microfluidic devices using equipment readily available to
most microfluidic researchers, namely an epi-fluorescent microscope. By focusing the UV light emitted from the
Hg lamp, we have demonstrated the ability to direct-write photoresist features that are appropriate for a wide
variety of microfluidic devices. A major advantage of this technique is its low-cost, both in terms of capital
investment and on-going expenditures. Furthermore, by using a motorized stage, we can quickly fabricate a
design on demand, eliminating the need, cost, and time required for a photomask. We have demonstrated this
technique using dry-film resist, due to its low-cost, ease of application and less stringent safety protocols.
Funded by a UNR General Undergraduate Research Award.
Copyright 2012 Emil J Geiger | All Rights Reserved.