Workshops / Courses


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A variety of 3-hour workshops will be offered on Sunday, 11 November 2018 and will be held at the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Morning sessions will begin at 09:00 and the afternoon sessions will begin at 14:00.

Workshop/Conference Location

Kaohsiung Exhibition Center
No.39, Chenggong 2nd Road, Qianzhen Dist.
Kaohsiung 806, Taiwan, ROC

Workshop Fee
Standard Rate

Half Day Workshop: $75.00

Attendees must choose the Workshop they would like to attend at the time of registration as there will be no in and out privileges and material (if any) will only be prepared for those who sign up. Early registration is encouraged as seating is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Onsite registration may be limited. Workshop material will be available for downloading prior to the Workshop. Attendees will be responsible for bringing any requisite material, including the downloaded material, with them to the Workshop. The Executive Committee reserves the right to amend the Workshops if necessary.

If a particular workshop is FULL, please contact to be added to the waiting list.

  1. 1
    How to do 3D particle tracking in microfluidics

    Workshop 1 – Morning

    Title: How to do 3D particle tracking in microfluidics



    Dr. Rune Barnkob, Technical University of Munich, Germany

    Dr. Massimiliano Rossi, Bundeswehr University Munich, Germany


    Workshop description:

    Microparticle tracking is an essential tool in the development of lab-on-a-chip systems, e.g. in the characterization of microfluidic flows and forces acting on suspended particles. In many such systems, the fluid and particle movements are inherent three dimensional, but three-dimensional particle tracking in single-camera systems, such as most microscopes, are often limited to experts or requires expensive non-standard equipment, e.g. digital holography and confocal scanning microscopy.

    Working principle of the General Defocusing Particle Tracking method (Barnkob, Kähler, Rossi, Lab Chip, 2015).Image 1: Working principle of the General Defocusing Particle Tracking method (Barnkob, Kähler, Rossi, Lab Chip, 2015).





    Image 2: GDPTlab, MATLAB implementation for GDPT analysis freely distributed for academic and non-commercial use (




    This aim of the workshop is to provide the participants with the fundamental knowledge and tools for performing 3D particle tracking in their laboratories after returning home from MicroTAS 2018. The tracking method used in this workshop is the General Defocusing Particle Tracking (GDPT), a method based on defocusing that requires only standard microfluidics laboratory equipment: microscope, light source, and camera. GDPT measurements can easily be performed using the software GDPTlab (​​), a Matlab GUI implementation freely distributed for academic and non-commercial use and successfully used by several research groups. GDPTlab will be distributed and used during the workshop and the participants will get hands-on experience on real experimental datasets. The workshop is intended for a broad audience, such as biologists, chemists, and engineers and is particularly suited for scientists with few or no experience in velocimetry that need an easy-to-use, yet powerful tool for three-dimensional particle tracking in microfluidic applications.

    Image 3: 3D particle tracking of 5-µm polystyrene beads driven by surface acoustic waves in a PDMS microchannel (Barnkob et al., Phys Rev Appl, 2018).





    The first half of the workshop focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects of GDPT as well as examples of its application. The second half is a hands-on session in which the participants will learn to perform 3D particle tracking measurements on their own using GDPTlab.


    First half: Introduction and applications

    1. Working principle and background theory
    2. Description of the experimental setup: objectives, illumination sources, cameras
    3. Examples of applications: microparticle acoustophoresis and swimming microorganisms
    4. Where is the GDPT development going next?


    Second half: Hands-on session with GDPTlab (for best output the participants should bring their own laptop with a pre-installed version of Matlab)

    1. Introduction to GDPTlab
    2. Practice with GDPTlab on experimental test cases
    3. Questions and discussions
  2. 2
    Microfluidics for Genome-wide Analysis

    Title: Microfluidics for Genome-wide Analysis

    Workshop 2 (Morning 9:00 – 12:00)



    Chang Lu, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

    Travis W. Murphy, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA


    Workshop description:

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized how molecular biology studies are conducted. Its decreasing cost and increasing throughput permit profiling of genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic features for a wide range of applications. There have been increasing needs and demonstrations on interfacing microfluidics with next-generation sequencing to facilitate molecular studies at the genome scale. In this workshop, we will go over our efforts on developing microfluidic genome-wide analyses based on a small quantity of cell/tissue samples from lab animals and patients. We will particularly focus on our efforts on development and implementation of low-input epigenomic tools (1-3).



    The first half of the workshop will be dedicated to the basics on next-generation sequencing, a general introduction to microfluidic works related to NGS and genome-wide analyses. The second half will be focused on how various types of epigenomic analyses are conducted in our lab at Virginia Tech.

    First Half:

    1. Working principles of various NGS tools
    2. Existing microfluidic technologies that work with NGS
    3. Genomics, epigenomics, and transcriptomics
    4. Epigenomes and diseases

    Second Half:

    1. Low-input epigenomic analysis
    2. How we profile genome-wide histone modifications and DNA methylation


    1. Ma, S., Hsieh, Y.-P., Ma, J., Lu, C. Low-input and multiplexed microfluidic assay reveals epigenomic variation across cerebellum and prefrontal cortex. Science Advances 4 (2018) eaar8187.
    2. Ma, S., de la Fuente Revenga, M., Sun, Z., Sun, C., Murphy, T.W., Xie, H., Gonzalez-Maeso, J., Lu, C. Cell-type-specific brain methylomes profiled via ultralow-input microfluidics. Nature Biomedical Engineering 2 (2018) 183-194.
    3. Cao, Z., Chen, C., He, B., Tan, K., Lu, C. A microfluidic device for epigenomic profiling using 100 cells. Nature Methods, 12 (2015) 959-962.
  3. 3
    Electrical or mechanical characterization of single cells on microfluidic devices

    Title: Electrical or mechanical characterization of single cells on microfluidic devices

    Workshop 3 (Morning 9:00 – 12:00)



    Bruno Le Pioufle, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, France


    Workshop description:

    Flowing cells can be characterized one by one, using microfluidic devices, on the basis of their mechanical or electrical signature.

    In many diseases circulating cells and in particular red blood cells suffer from alteration of their mechanical properties. It is the case of Malaria or Sickle Cell Disease. As will be shown during the presentation, microfluidic devices can detect such alterations very efficiently.

    Besides, the electrical tests on single cells give complementary information on its structure and content. The polarization capabilities of the cell and its surrounding medium can be used, once measured, to estimate the dielectric properties (conductivity, permittivity) of the cell components (membrane, intracellular content). The differences in term of polarization capability of the cells (which is the electrical signature of cells) can be used to sort the cell using the dielectrophoresis force. Devices achieving this function will be shown during the presentation.

    The dielectric parameters of the cell can be measured through its impedance spectrum. To do so, a screening of a wide spectrum of frequencies for the electrical solicitation must be applied to the flowing cell. Such measurement thus needs rapid electronics! An alternative of such approach is the use of the electromechanical response of the cell. We will show that a cell mechanically rotating in a rotary electrical field (electrorotation experiment) can provide the electrical characteristic of this cell, and its components. An example will be given with the estimation of the cytoplasmic lipid content of  micro-algae using this method.

    1. First part of the course will describe the method to fabricate microfluidic devices for the mechanical sensing of cell rigidity. Example of such devices for the sensing of red blood cells altered due to sickle cell disease or malaria will be provided.
    2. The focus will be then made on the electrical sensing of a single cell. Firstly the modeling of the cell, using the well known multi-shell model will be presented. Then the modeling of the mixture, medium and cell contained within the medium, will be reminded. Impedance spectra obtained through this modeling will be commented. The influence of the cell components (membrane, cytoplasmic content) will be analyzed.
    3. Finally, the polarization capabilities of cells will be discussed, and microdevices using this principle for cell sorting, based on the dielectrophoresis force will be presented. The case of rotary field, leading to cell electrorotation will be discussed. Such electrorotation experiment is a way to assess the dielectric signature of the cell.
  4. 4
    Commercialization of microfluidic devices and systems

    Title: Commercialization of microfluidic devices and systems

    Workshop 4 (Morning 9:00 – 12:00)



    Dr. Holger Becker, microfluidic ChipShop GmbH, Germany


    Workshop description:

    More than 25 years after the introduction of the concept of the “miniaturized total chemical analysis system (μTAS)” and about 20 years after the gold digger`s frenzy about how this technology would revolutionize all aspects of chemical, biological or diagnostic applications, it is worth to have a look how this technology has matured (or at what places it might have made a wrong turn). The course will provide a broad overview of all aspects of the commercialization of microfluidic devices and systems as an enabling technology for new product development in diagnostics and the life sciences. Emphasis is put on the complete development process for commercial microfluidics-enabled products, covering aspects of development strategies, manufacturing technologies, application cases, markets as well as aspects of commercialization and latest trends in the academic world. Recent product examples will be presented as well as lessons learned during all stages of the development and commercialization process of microfluidics-enabled devices.


    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand the role of microfluidics technology in the development of new products.
    2. Learn about development and modularisation strategies in product development.
    3. Understand different microfabrication methods for low and high volume production.
    4. Understand economic aspects in the development and manufacturing of Lab- on-a-chip devices and systems.
    5. Learn about examples of successful and unsuccessful microfluidic product introductions.
    6. Understand the current state of the markets and obstacles in the commercialization process.



    The course will is organized in the following chapters:

    1. Introduction
    2. Challenges in product development
    3. Case studies
    4. Commercialization issues
    5. Application and product examples
    6. Materials and microfabrication methods
    7. Design advice
    8. Conclusions
  5. 5
    Incorporating The Needs of Users into Point-Of-Care Diagnostics

    Title: Incorporating The Needs of Users into Point-Of-Care Diagnostics

    Workshop 5 (Morning 9:00 – 12:00)



    Dr. Jacqueline Linnes, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA


    Workshop description:

    Microfluidic point-of-care diagnostics are poised to reshape the delivery of healthcare systems in both high-resource and resource limited settings. However, translation of these technologies out the research lab and into instruments that are usable in clinical and field settings, requires design of robust devices that provide simple user interfaces and sample-to-answer detection. No matter how sensitive or specific a point-of-care diagnostic is, if users are frustrated by the device (e.g. the results of a colorimetric test are too subtle to interpret) or the device is difficult to fit into the clinical workflow (e.g., the time for the test is significantly longer than the average provider visit), it will have trouble achieving widespread use and competing devices with poorer technical performance but better user-design may be adopted instead. In this workshop, we will provide a Human Centered Design framework with which to design and evaluate devices. The goal of this workshop is to provide both an overview and practical experience using this framework so that participants can design and develop translational technologies with the maximum impact.


    In the first half of the workshop, participants will learn how to develop field-ready prototypes for usability studies and will work through case studies of device prototype evaluations in the field.  In the second part of the workshop, participants will gain hands on experience creating a mock device prototype and developing a product hypothesis by defining potential users, their needs, and the critical assumptions that they have made about the context of device operation. They will then prepare for, and take part in role playing to engage with each other as potential users of the device and finally synthesize this information into a new hypothesis with changes to the device design and use. An example challenge and device include: “Assume that you are working in a company that assists small shareholder farmers to enable them to gain market share when selling their fruits locally, and potentially internationally. You suspect that people will purchase fruits from farmers who can prove that their fruits are higher quality than competitors. Therefore, your team has designed a pH detection bandage to determine acidity of fruit skins because the surface of fruits changes pH when they are damaged by insects/environment.”

  6. 6
    Bioengineering Microscale Disease Models In Vitro

    Title : Bioengineering Microscale Disease Models In Vitro

    Workshop 6 (Afternoon 14:00 – 17:00)



    Dr. Shuichi Takayama, Georgia Institute of Technology / Emory University, USA

    Dr. Yi-Chung Tung, Academia Sinica, Taiwan


    Workshop description :

    Many biological studies and pharmacological assays require culture and manipulation of living cells outside of their natural environment in the body. The gap between the cellular microenvironment in vivo and in vitro, however, poses challenges for obtaining physiologically relevant mechanistic insights and responses from cellular drug screens. Reasons for this gap include cells used, biochemical factors, 3D geometry, mechanical stimuli, electrical stimuli, and other dynamic factors that are not present in conventional static 2D cultures. Efforts to fill this gap has led to significant interest in microscale and microfluidic systems such as organoids and organs-on-a-chip systems that provide biological information otherwise unobtainable. This workshop will provide an overview of this field, opportunities and challenges, and discuss specific topics of interest to the participants.

    This aim of the workshop is to provide the participants with the fundamental knowledge in in vitro disease models. The workshop is intended for a broad audience, such as biologists, chemists, and engineers. We plan also to have group discussion on specific diseases or organ systems of interest to participants. Participants can upload topic suggestions at


    Outline :

    The first half of the workshop focuses on understanding the overall need and fundamental components and considerations required when bioengineering in vitro disease models. The second half will cover a few specific examples of organs and diseases. We will also discuss specific diseases and systems of interest from the participants.


    First half: Introduction and Fundamentals

    1. The Need (3R, Chronic disease, Infectious diseases, Toxicology, Precision medicine)
    2. Cells (Cell line vs Primary cells, Stem cells, Immune cells, Age, Heterogeneity, Co-cultures)
    3. Microenvironment engineering (Mechanical (solid and fluid), Soluble factors, ECM, Gradients)
    4. 2D, 3D, Organoids, Organs-on-a-chip
    5. Readouts (Imaging (shape/migration/contraction), Genetic, Proteins, Small molecules)
    6. Challenges (Throughput, Reproducibility, Scaling, Relevance)


    Second half: Examples and Case Studies

    1. Goals (mechanisms, drug testing (early), drug testing (late), pharmacokinetics/toxicology)
    2. Lung (lung injury)
    3. Cancer
    4. Commercial platforms
    5. Examples and discussions from the participants
  7. 7
    Thin Film Acoustofluidics and Lab-on-a-chip

    Title: Thin Film Acoustofludics and Lab-on-a-chip

    Workshop 7 (Afternoon 14:00 – 17:00)

    Presenters: Prof. Richard Fu, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK


    Workshop description:

    Acoustofluidics is the research and application of acoustic functions for fluidic actuation. Mixing, pumping, jetting and nebulisation are the enabling processes of microscale acoustofluidics for applications such as biochemical analysis, disease diagnosis, DNA sequencing and drug delivery. Together with acoustic wave biosensing, they have form the basis of acoustic lab-on-chip. Recently, piezoelectric thin films such as zinc oxide and aluminium nitride have found a broad range of lab-on-chip applications such as biosensing, particle/cell concentrating, sorting/patterning, pumping, mixing, nebulisation and jetting. Integrated acoustic wave sensing/microfluidic devices have been fabricated by depositing these piezoelectric films onto a number of substrates such as silicon, ceramics, diamond, quartz, glass, and more recently also polymer, metallic foils and bendable glass/silicon for making flexible, bendable and wearable devices. Such thin film acoustic wave devices have great potential for implementing integrated, disposable, or bendable/flexible lab-on-a-chip devices into various sensing and actuating applications.



    This workshop will talk about the recent development in engineering high performance piezoelectric thin films for piezoelectric and acoustic wave applications. Advances in using thin film devices for lab-on-chip (including acoustofluidics and sensing) applications are demonstrated.


    Detailed contents: 

    1. Theory of acoustic wave mode and generation;
    2. Acoustifc wave sensors and acoustofluidics
    3. Bulk and thin film based acoustofludics
    4. Deposition and processing of ZnO and AlN films
    5. Engineering thin film for acoustic wave devices
    6. Thin film acoustic wave device and fabrications
    7. Thin film acoustic wave biosensors (including SAW, FBAR and Lamb waves)
    8. Thin film SAW based acoustofluidic manipulation (SAW streaming and particle concentration, Liquid transport and mixing, Liquid jetting, Liquid nebulisation, Particle and cell manipulation, Acoustic heating).
    9. Integration and future (portable, wireless, flexible, benable, and werable, and remotely controlled devices)
  8. 8
    Electrochemical detection in micro/nano-systems: from cell analysis to characterization of energy materials

    Title: Electrochemical detection in micro/nano-systems: from cell analysis to characterization of energy materials

    Workshop 8 (Afternoon 14:00 – 17:00)


    Dr. Kosuke Ino, Tohoku University, Japan

    Prof. Akichika Kumatani, Tohoku University, Japan

    Dr. Yuji Nashimoto, Tohoku University, Japan

    Dr. Hiroyuki Kai, Tohoku University, Japan



    Workshop description:

    Electrochemical detection using electrodes has been widely used for characterization of several kinds of materials including cells and energy materials, because it can convert chemical reactions and concentration of chemicals to current signals. In addition to detection, electrochemical devices can be applied to cell culture and medical applications including iontophoresis. Recently, micro/nanometer-sized electrodes are easily fabricated, due to the rapid progress in micro/nanofabrication techniques. Devices containing micro/nanoelectrodes are attracting attention for sophisticated analytical measurements and bioapplications, due to its unique features, such as high signal-to-noise ratio and electrochemical detection in local areas.



    This aim of the workshop is to provide fundamental knowledge of micro/nanosystems focusing on electrochemical detection to the participants. In addition to detection, biomedical applications based on electrochemistry will be introduced. This workshop will cover several kinds of electrochemical devices from probe devices to chip devices. We introduce single-cell analysis and evaluation of three-dimensional cultured cells. By using the methods, gene expression, cell differentiation and respiration activity can be electrochemically measured. Also, we will introduce the characterization of energy materials such as electrodes for batteries and electrocatalytic reactions in nanometer scale by scanning probe microscopic systems. As a biomedical application, an electrochemical hydrogel device will be shown.

    The workshop is intended for audiences on broad research including biology, bioengineering, analytical chemistry, electrochemistry, bioMEMS/NEMS, material science and tissue engineering. We will also welcome an inexperienced persons for electrochemical detection.



    1. Introduction: foundation for electrochemical detection using micro/nanoelectrodes
    2. Electrochemical chip device for bioanalysis
    3. Nanoscale electrochemical imaging by scanning electrochemical microscopies on energy materials
    4. Single-cell analysis using a probe-based electrochemical device
    5. Hydrogels for bioanalysis
  9. 9
    Caring for cells in microsystems: ensuring cell-safe device design and operation

    Title: Caring for cells in microsystems: ensuring cell-safe device design and operation

    Workshop 9 (Afternoon 14:00 – 17:00)



    Dr. Joel Voldman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

    Dr. Sarvesh Varma, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA



    Workshop Description/ Scope:

    What keeps cells healthy? How does one design or optimize their device in a way that keeps their cells healthy? How does one compare one device against another, in the context of cell health? What should one measure if one wants to quantify cell health? Often such questions have puzzled microfluidic engineers, who aspire to disseminate their technologies to a broader community. Finding optimal designs or conditions that do not harm cells is inherently challenging, owing to biological complexity and several technical challenges. To this end, we have designed this workshop for device engineers, designers, and users who wish to establish “cell-friendly” technologies with utility to a broader scientific community.

    We will discuss strategies to define and measure cell health, along with “best practices” to mitigate cell stresses within microsystems. We anticipate this workshop will help the audience establish standards that change the way microfluidic platforms are engineered and evaluated, and will enable further adoption of such technologies.



    This workshop aims to first familiarize the audience with aspects that define healthy cells and how they may be impacted the cellular microenvironment. We will briefly introduce cellular mechanisms essential for cell function and survival and highlight how stressors emerging from microsystems may disrupt these mechanisms.

    We encourage all attendees to share specific questions regarding cell health in their own devices, and also to share any practical solutions that have worked for them. We will provide several practical guidelines for designing devices and particular operating conditions that will help in maintaining healthy cells. Subsequently, we will review assays employed by the community to assess cell health, along with associated advantages, disadvantages and withstanding limitations. We will discuss relevant quantitative assays which can be used to measure cell states, along with strategies that are easy to adapt for monitoring cell health. Concluding with a group discussion, we aim to identify action plans and compile recommendations for the community for establishing “cell-friendly” technologies.

  10. 10
    Introduction of Bioprocessing Microfluidics and System Integration

    Title: Introduction of Bioprocessing Microfluidics and System Integration

    Workshop 10 (Afternoon 14:00 – 17:00)



    Prof. Ya-Yu Chiang, National Chung-Hsing University, Taiwan

    Prof. Nicolas Szita, University College London, U.K.

    Prof. Daniel McCluskey, and Dr. Nikolay Dimov, University of Hertfordshire, U.K.


    Workshop description:

    In this workshop, lectures will introduce the leading edge research and development in strategic technological areas focusing on the application of micro fabrication techniques and micro fluidic principles to address challenges and opportunities in the Life Sciences. This includes the system-wide integration and development of analytical methods. The workshop priorities have special emphasis on Bioprocesses and System Integration.

    Demand rises for automation and system integration in the area of microfluidics for biological applications. Typical biological samples have complex content and require significant processing before reaching the level of purity necessary for analysis. There are underlying challenges in this process that need to be considered in the design and the development of bioprocessing systems.

    The first part for workshop focuses on the introduction of multiplexed microfluidic bioreactors in bioprocessing. The development of efficient and economically feasible recovery steps using microreactors/microdevice of many biocatalytic processes will be covered.


    The second part of the workshop focuses on the automated sample preparation of biological samples using Lab-on-a-Disc (LoaD) technology and advanced system integration. After completing the workshop participants will have knowledge for LoaD system engineering for biological sample processing. The session covers theoretical background and principles necessary for LoaD development, and requires no prior knowledge in this area. Detailed examples will be presented from process integration and build in controls. Delegates will work through a case study for valve design based on analytical solutions.

    The third part of the workshop will introduce system integration and the challenges associated with real-world integration of environmental and biological sampling with a view to the downstream analysis via digital microfluidics (DMF) as a tool for automated bioprocessing and bio detection. Thanks to the ability to manipulate discrete droplets in a sequential manner, DMF carries the promise of a new paradigm for automated analysis especially for so-called lab-on-a-chip applications where complex protocols are automated on a single ‘chip’. DMF devices are highly scalable and reprogrammable and could virtually serve infinity of purpose. DMF enables complex automated procedure that would be difficult, if not impossible, to implement using classical microfluidics. At the end of the workshop, participant will be familiarized with droplet handling technique, DMF device manufacturing and integration into fully automated systems. Participant will be invited to consider a case study for in-field DMF-based high concentration ratio bio detection of airborne threats.

    After this workshop you should find the potential of these techniques as a screening tool for bench-top scale reaction, extraction, purification and be coupled with other upstream and downstream units as system integration. Such trains of micro-units or system can be used to lend weight to defining the best process criteria. It applies to continuous pharmaceutical compounds production, removal and other prospective applications in miniaturized bioprocessing for bench-top production as well as for decision making.