Hybrid Thin Film Microfluidic Microwave Sensing Apparatus


Microfluidic technology has been extensively used for efficient manipulation of fluids in the microscale for energy, biomedical research, environmental monitoring, and analytical chemistry. The control of flow in microchannels is crucial in many fluid mechanic applications, such as molecular diagnostics, cell sorting and separation, fluid mixing, and cell adhesion and culture. The flow rate may need to be accurately quantified as it may lead to size variation in the products.

Having access to a miniaturized system that can perform selective manipulation of biophysical and biochemical properties of liquids in microchannels while enabling non-contact sensing exceeding the available market sensitivity even for non-transparent mediums is an urgent need of many lab-on-a-chip platforms. Researchers at the University of Calgary have enabled proper integration of microfluidics with long-lasting and sensitive microwaves to bring both worlds of sensitivity and selectivity into one single chip. They have developed a non-contact and real-time microfluidic microwave sensing apparatus and method for measuring physical and chemical characteristics of a fluid within microfluidic channels.



  • Biomedical engineering
  • Energy sector
  • Polymer design and synthesis
  • Water quality monitoring



  • Planar sensing structure is compatible with planar microfluidic systems.
  • Unique designs allow for optimum monitoring characteristics of the fluid.
  • Covers a wide range of sensing such as ionic properties, molecule or particle concentration, and composition and flow of gas and liquid.
  • Various biomedical applications including bacteria identification, in vitro diagnostics, smart wearable sensing, and more.