HANDS-ON WORKSHOP IN 3D-printing & Microfluidics for BIOENGINEERING

May 10-12, 2017

Course Content
Keynote Speaker
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We have reached capacity for this year's workshop! If a spot opens up, and you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email dj.lab.workshop@gmail.com. 



The 9th annual Hand's on Workshop in Micro and Nano Bioengineering will be held from Wednesday, May 10 to Friday, May 12 at McGill Univeristy in Montréal, Québec. Participants will learn the foundations of micro and nano biotechnologies and gain first hand experience with Computer Aided Design (CAD), 3D printing, soft lithography, microfluidics, microcontact printing, immunoassays and more. Last year, almost 30 attendies from industry and all levels of academia joined the workshop!

The course is open to scientists, engineers and industry professionals in any area of research who would like to learn more about micro and nanofabrication and about micro and nanoscience technology in general. The course is of particular interest to biomedical researchers, chemists, physicists, as well as biomedical, mechanical, chemical, and materials engineers.

Course Content

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This lecture series will begin with an introduction and overview of micro and nano biotechnology and applications. This will be followed by more in depth lectures on 1) Microfluidics and applications in biomedical technologies, 2) Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping, and 3) Soft Lithography. The purpose of these lectures is to give participants an overview of the current trends and applications of micro and nano biotechnologies in a number of fields.


Participants will first learn the basics of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software (AutoCAD). Design rules and limitations will be discussed for high resolution 3D printing. In the interactive portion of the session, participants will design and make adjustments to a CAD model for a 3D printed microfluidic device with bioengineering applications. Computers are provided; however, participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops.


3D Printing
Participants will be introduced to the benefits and shortcomings of rapid prototyping in microfluidic applications using a 3D printer with 50 micrometer resolution. You will get to see the printing process for your devices (designed during module 2) and take them home.
Soft lithography
In this module, you will carry out experiments using classical examples of microfluidic devices. The devices will be fabricated by replica molding into PDMS. Several designs are available.
Microfluidics Experiments
This module will allow the participant to experience first-hand microfluidic systems from their creation, using soft-lithography technique, to their set-up and their utilization. Several designs are available. Participants can choose a device to work with from a selection of designs
Microfluidic experiment 1: Gradient generator
Microfluidic gradients have found widespread application in cellular chemotaxis studies for example. You will learn how to operate microfluidic devices using syringe pumps and experiment with a microfluidic gradient generator. First, you will punch holes into the PDMS for making the connections. You will then activate the surface of the PDMS with an air plasma, and then bond it to a glass slide. Next, you connect capillaries and deliver three different chemicals to the gradient generator, and observe the formation of a stationary biochemical gradient.
Microfluidic experiment 2: Miniaturized Mosaic Immunoassays
Using this assay, many different antigens can be screened at the same time in a small area using a minute amount of reagents, making the assays less labour-, time- and cost- intensive. You will learn how to handle microfluidic devices that operate based on capillary effects only (no pumps, no plugs), and that can be serviced manually using conventional micropipettes. You will learn how to use microfluidics to pattern lines of antibodies onto a surface to carry out combinatorial miniaturized mosaic immunoassay.
Microcontact Printing
In the microcontact printing technique, a flexible stamp is used to print proteins at the microscale. The stamp, usually made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), is obtained by molding against a micro-structured silicon wafer. Once replicated, the stamp contains in relief the desired pattern to be printed on the surface. When the stamp is ready, the proteins of interest (i.e. antibodies, streptavidin, fibronectin...) are adsorbed on the PDMS stamp by simple soaking of the protein solutions on the stamp (inking process). The "inked" protein stamp is then brought into contact with the desired surface (glass slides, petri dishes or cover slips) and only the proteins adsorbed on the relief of the stamp are transferred to the substrate and generate the micro pattern. The participants will learn about all the technical "tricks" required to get well defined and homogeneous proteins patterns.


In this session, presentations will be given by participants who will show how Nano/Microtechnology can be applied to their research area. This session is a highlight of the course as it helps participants to relate what they just learned to their work, and at the same time providing a snapshot of the breadth of micro and nanotechnologies. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a process design challenge and compete for the best presentation award this year! To conclude the day, past year participants will be invited back to talk about their current research using the tools and techniques they learned through this workshop.

For module 1 slides, course notes, design challenge information, CAD files, etc, please visit the downloads page.



The workshop is comprised of 4 modules and a distinguished keynote speaker. Lunch is provided on Wednesday and Friday. Coffee and snacks will be provided in the mornings and during Design Challenge Sessions. We will end the workshop with a wine and cheese (and beer), don't miss it!


Keynote Speaker

Samuel Sia

Columbia University, New York City
Molecular and Microscale Bioengineering Lab
Founder: Harlem Biospace

Point-of-Care Diagnostics and Mobile Health
The Sia lab uses powerful techniques of microfluidics to build low-cost, integrated devices to performing sophisticated medical tests. His work integrates biology, chemistry, engineering, consumer electronics, data communication, clinical medicine, public health, and health economics. Their goal is to deploy these devices in field settings to improve global health and consumer health and wellness.

Therapeutics with Cell and Tissue Engineering
The Sia lab is also developing methods for precisely controlling cellular microenvironments, including microvascular growth. Their group is working closley with clinicians to develop new treatment modalities based on cell therapy and implantable devices.


Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices have a tremendous potential for revolutionizing personal health.  In the U.S., patients and consumers can have greater access to traditionally complex diagnostics, and in developing countries, mobile diagnostics provides immediate diagnosis in the field.  We will discuss our lab's current efforts in these areas, in conjunction with partners in industry, public health, and local governments.  Our tests span a variety of technologies, and target HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and chronic diseases.



Milicia Radisic, University of Toronto

"Towards Person-on-a-Plate: Microfabrication and Biodegradable Polymers for High Fidelity Modelling of Human Tissues"

Keynote 2015

Axel Guenther, University of Toronto
"Blood Vessels-on-a-Chip and Microfluidic Bioprinting"


Ali Khademhosseini, Harvard University
"Micro-Engineered Hydrogels for Stem Cell Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration"



The workshop is located at McGill University in the heart of downtown Montréal, Québec. Module 1 Lectures and the Design Challenge of the workshop will be held in the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry building, Room M48 (3640 Rue University). Module 2 (CAD Design Studio) will be held in the McConnell Engineering Building (3480 Rue University), Room 10. Module 3 (Lab Session) will be held in the Genome Québec and McGill Innovation Centre (740 Dr. Penfield Ave), Room 6500. The keynote speaker will be in room of M1 of the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry building (3640 rue University). The wine and cheese following the keynote will be held on the fifth floor of the Genome Centre (740 Docteur-Penfield Ave). 

Coming from out of town? There are plenty of hotels within walking distance to McGill campus. Montréal bus routes 24, 144, and 80 will also take you near campus if staying further away. If you have any questions about transportation or accommodations, just send us an email at dj.lab.workshop@gmail.com.



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The Hands-on Workshop in Micro & Nano Bioengineering is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors. To find out more about becoming a sponsor, please email us at dj.lab.workshop@gmail.com.