Microfluidics Laboratory

The CNSI Microfluidics Lab was developed by CNSI as a campus-wide resource for researchers who use custom-made microfluidic devices and other scientific instruments in their work. The lab currently has users from research groups in mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering; chemistry, biology, materials, physics, MRL, SSLEEC, and Media Arts and Technology. The lab also supports off-campus users.

The Microfluidics lab supports two distinct groups of researchers: experienced device fabricators who benefit from having a comprehensive tool set in one location as well as researchers who have creative ideas about using novel microfluidic devices, but don’t have much experience making them. The lab also supports undergraduates working on course-related projects.

The lab has tools for making several different classes of microfluidic devices: cast PDMS, directly machined (laser and mill) polymer devices, and thermally molded polymer flow channels. CNC drills and mills are available for machining ports and vias in Silicon and glass using diamond tooling, and aligned punches are available for creating ports in polymers. The Microfluidic Lab also has tools for surface activation using ozone and vapor deposition of silanes. The lab supports custom-made bond aligning tools and microscopes for inspection. A high-resolution 3D printer and CNC mill are available for making molds, fixtures and experimental apparatus. The lab also has a full suite of optical microscopes for inspection.

Tools for soft lithography, including mixing, curing, assembly, and surface activation of polymer devices.
Tools to dice and drill a variety of brittle substrates.
Tools for inspection and imaging.
Tools to support fabrication of custom devices and fixtures; materials for laboratory users.


Lab Manager
Microfluidics Laboratory and Innovation Workshop
Development Engineer

 How-to Information

Steps to Access the Microfluidics Lab
  1. Contact Microfluidics Lab staff to get trained on the instrument. Completion of a new user orientation and safety briefing is required before obtaining card-key access to the CNSI Workshops. Tool-specific training is required for all tools and instruments in the lab
  2. All users must complete UCSB Environmental Health and Safety’s Fundamentals of Laboratory Safety course. The course is offered in person at the beginning of each quarter, and is also available on-line.
  3. Apply to CNSI for electronic door access to the facility.
  4. Microfluidics Lab Staff will add you to the FBS reservation system

Complete instructions regarding access can be found here

Acknowledging Support

Please remember to acknowledge CNSI resources in scientific publications and presentations by including this statement:

“The authors acknowledge the use of the Microfluidics Laboratory within the California NanoSystems Institute, supported by the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of California, Office of the President.”