Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Timothy Nam Chang

Second Advisor

Patricia Soteropoulos

Third Advisor

Edwin Hou

Abstract

This thesis describes the research and development of a new liquid dispensing/aspiring system that is capable of producing micro sized spots/droplets for molecular biology research and analysis. In particular, the application is focused on DNA microarray fabrication with the goals of smaller spot size, higher yield, more efficient usage of biological materials, and capability to handle high viscosity liquids. The new system is based on active sensing and control and it is part of a fully integrated robotic microarray system for genomic and proteomic applications. The prototype system handles water as well as thick liquids such as 100% glycerol and generates spots in a contactless manner with controllable spot size ranging from 80 microns to 200 microns. Microarray technology is enhancing many areas of biological research including stem cell, cancer and infectious disease research. This new method of microarray production will afford hospitals and laboratories the system necessary to help detect and study genetic changes in cells in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

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