Report on IUTAM Summer School on Mechanics in Microfluidics in Aug. 16-20

Peking University, Beijing, Aug. 16-20

The aim of this course was to present recent advances in mechanics of microfluidics, and also some of those in physics, chemistry and biology.

The recent developments of microfluidics have revolutionized many fields of sciences and technologies, such as biotechnique and bioengineering with applications to genomics and proteomics; lab-on-chip-analysis; micro-quantity syntheses; on-line clinical diagnoses, etc. Increased demands for microfluidics will dramatically increase tools and analyses of mechanics and their applications to microsystems. Microfluidics deals with the transfer and control of small amount (nano or pico liter range) of fluids in microscale flow configurations, which makes the manipulation of cells and macro molecules become possible in the micro channels/reactors in integrated system. The matching between the length scales of the flow and the cells/micro-particles may affect directly the efficiencies of momentum and energy transfer of the motions. The small transverse length scale in microfluidic system produces very small Reynolds number with high velocity gradient and high viscous force, which is much different from the macro flows with higher inertia of fluid mass. Driving forces in microsystem may need to combine the hydrodynamic pressures and the electrokinetics force. These aforementioned phenomena are interesting topics in micro/nano fluidic researches. Development of proper models and theories becomes more and more important for the interpretation the interesting phenomena in micro flow and for the exploration of optimal design and fabrication of microfluidic systems.

The topics of the summer school presented research achievements in this field during recent years, with the lectures given by:

  • Chih Ming Ho, on “From Materials, Devices, Systems to Complex Systems”
  • Hong Kai Wu, on “PDMS microfluidics ”
  • Xingyu Jiang, on “Micro/Nano-Scale Tools for Biochemical Analysis”
  • Patrick Tabeling, on “Physical aspects of microfluidics
  • Laurent Pilon, on: “Interfacial Phenomena and Microfluidics in Aqueous Foams”
  • Yong Chen, “Integrated Cell-Material Sciences:  Nanostructure and Microfluidic Toolbox”
  • Jeff Tza-Huei Wang, on “Microfluidics Mediated Single-Molecule and Single-Cell Analysis”
  • Bo Zheng, on “Droplets-Based Microfluidic Techniques”
  • Chunxiong Luo, on “Diffusion-based microenvironment control for bacterial migration”
  • Chunyang Xiong on “Microfuidics: Multi-functional Tools for Cell Mechanics
  • Yanyi Huang, on “Large scale integrated microfluidic chips”


The subjects of those lectures included:

  • Size and surface effects in microfluidics and their influences on macro-parameters of fluid mechanics
  • Action and coupling of hydrodynamic pressures and electrokinetic force fields in flow control of microfluidic system.
  • Innovative pattern design and flowing analysis in the manipulation of cells, molecules and DNA/RNA.
  • Measurement methodologies and techniques in microfluidic mechanics such as optical detection and micro particle image velocimetry
  • Computational simulations of microfluidic mechanics with advanced models and algorithms.
  • Mechanics related to the microfluidic applications of mixing, separation, filtering, sensing and actuating in MEMS and Nano devices.

The course attendance was about 120, from various institutes with different backgrounds such as biology, chemistry, physics and mechanics.

Composed by Jing Fang (PKU, China)