Semester of Graduation

Summer 2021


Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (MSBAE)


Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Document Type



This document describes two distinct platforms that implement electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) within microfluidic devices for rapid, label-free cell analysis. Each study provides proof-of-concept evaluations of these devices for cell counting and viability analysis applications to mitigate some of the challenges associated with conventional methods. Chapter one includes background information on each version of EIS selected and motivations for the studies conducted. Chapter two describes the design and fabrication of a modular, reusable microfluidic device. Additionally, the methodology for and results from the application of this platform for the measurement of zebrafish sperm cell concentrations are presented. Chapter three describes a microfluidic impedance flow cytometer created by a computer-aided manufacturing method for parallel electrode geometry fabrication. This device was used for single-cell viability testing of Jurkat cells on a continuous flow basis. Cell detection events and discrimination of intact and disrupted cells on the basis of their membrane properties was performed using a custom Matlab script. Major contributions to this project were made by Dr. Julianne Audiffred and Micah Fincher including device design and fabrication, maintenance of cell lines, and raw signal collection, that are shown in Dr. Audiffred's dissertation “Quantitative Macro- and Microscale Methods for Characterizing Cell Viability” (\cite{audiffredQuantitativeMacroMicroscale}). My contribution to this project, as detailed in Chapter 3, was to perform a morethorough COMSOL simulation of parallel versus coplanar electrode geometry performance in impedance cytometry applications, and to create a signal processing algorithm to re-analyze the raw experimental data to improve upon the work pursuant to viability status discrimination. As such, this work will be the basis of a co-authored manuscript that has been significantly re-written to include comparisons with microfluidic impedance cytometry devices that have published more recently. Chapter four includes a summary of conclusions from these efforts and a discussion of proposed future directions.

Committee Chair

Monroe, W. Todd