Microplatforms – Outreach

The Microplatforms Research Group delights in sharing research ideas, activities, and outcomes with scientists from other disciplines, the broader community, and particularly enthusiastic school students and their teachers. We strive to package and present our research in a manner that is accessible to each audience.

Please contact Professor Arnan Mitchell (arnan.mitchell@rmit.edu.au) to discuss interaction opportunities, visits and demonstrations.

2010 Outreach Activities

August

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, visited RMIT University to open RMIT’s expanded and renovated Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility, part of the School of Applied Sciences.

Dr Gorgi Kostovski participated in outlining research activities to the Senator and to the Vice-Chancellor and President, Prof. Margaret Gardner AO. He explained the process for forming light guiding structures (optical waveguides) by a polymer-based imprinting process.

Dedicated Wastewater Laboratory. Opened in 2009, this new laboratory provides simulations of wastewater treatment processes to assess factors that influence pathogen die-off in field treatments.  Results of this research are expected to aid microbial safety management in wastewater treatments.  Data will also inform the redesigning of treatment processes for more efficient and safe production of biosolids. L to R; Tania Mondal, Dr Duncan Rouch and Prof Margaret Deighton

Senator Kim Carr and Prof. Margaret Gardner receive a briefing from Dr Gorgi Kostovski.



June-July

A number of group members participated in the planning, organisation, and delivery of the Experience Day 2010 to school students from across Melbourne.

A total of 75 students learnt the basics of making microfluidic chips in a 90 minute session, which also introduced the students to the marvels of microfabrication.

The activities involved mixing and curing silicone polymer, casting of the polymer against a master pattern, defining fluid inlets and outlets, and testing the chips under a microscope. These chips were designed to carry two fluids, which do not mix due to the physics of microfluidic flows.

Each student made their own microfluidic chip, which they could take home with them, along with the fittings required to test them at their schools.

Students preparing microfluidic chips.

Students preparing microfluidic chips.

Using biopsy punches to define microfluidic inlets and outlets.

Using biopsy punches to define microfluidic inlets and outlets.

Prepared chip ready for testing with two fluids.

Prepared chip ready for testing with two fluids.

One of the staff (Mr Paul Jones) assisting a student with setting up the microscope.

One of the staff (Mr Paul Jones) assisting a student with setting up the microscope.

Testing flow of the two fluids through a single channel.

Testing flow of the two fluids through a single channel.

Functioning of the chip as viewed through a microscope. The two coloured fluids joining the same channel but flow together without mixing.

Functioning of the chip as viewed through a microscope. The two coloured fluids joining the same channel but flow together without mixing.



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