3D Printing of Lab on Chip Structures for Cell Growth and Experimental Validation of Magnetic Nanoparticle Flow Simulations

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Muralidhar Ghantasala

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Kujawski

Third Advisor

Dr. Pavel Ikonomov


3D printing, lab on chip, cell growth, magnetic nanoparticle flow, FEA simulations

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until



3D Printing is rapidly transforming the manufacturing processes used for making large automobiles to micro devices with the main objective of reducing number of processing steps and at the same time being able to fabricate complex structures with ease and relatively at a low cost. The focus of this thesis is to build a microfluidic platform for nanoparticle transportation in a microfluidic channel under the influence of external magnetic fields as well as understand the effect of surface modification methods on 3D printed polylactic acid (PLA) scaffolds for cell proliferation. In this direction, a leakproof chip is made using FDM 3D printing technique. The topographical difference between the samples printed in horizontal and vertical print orientations is exploited for enhancing cell proliferation. The effect of two surface modification techniques i.e., mechanical polishing and hydrolysis on the printed samples with respect to the bioactivity is analyzed using water contact angle and surface roughness measurements in specific cell proliferation experiments. The printed PLA lab on chips (LOC) were used for nanoparticle flow validation studies. The nanomagnetic particle flow in a microfluidic channel is analyzed using Finite Element Analysis based COMSOL software. The simulation studies have provided a deeper understanding of nanomagnetic particle velocity variations in the presence of external magnetic fields produced by permanent magnets. Different forces acting on the particles are also quantified to understand the corresponding effect on particle velocity. The COMSOL simulation of nanomagnetic particle transportation results were verified with experimental analysis using the 3D printed leakproof microfluidic devices.

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