The I/UCRC for Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics intends emphasize design-oriented research that anticipates the need for cost-effective manufacture and practical deployment. The center plans to undertake a simultaneous, broad-front integrated strategy that seeks breakthroughs at the interfaces of the thrust areas in material science, material processing, biology, chemistry, device design, electronics, and component integration. Proactive emphasis on volume production and on-chip interfaces to existing communications infrastructure are new research priorities for microfluidics prototypes. These considerations early in the research and design cycle are viewed as key to transitioning technologies out of academic laboratories and into the manufacturing sector for societal benefit.
The I/UCRC for Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics employ competitive recruitment mechanisms and attractive cross-disciplinary collaborative graduate research opportunities to engage excellent students, including members of underrepresented groups. In addition to publications in archival journals and conference proceedings, knowledge dissemination includes an open-source "microfluidic function library" containing design specifications for microfluidic "circuits" and interchangeable components organized by application and chip manufacturing processes. Scalable prototyping processes also will be targeted for dissemination to academia and industry, including established companies and entrepreneurs, with the goal of dramatically shortening the idea-to-product process.