Student-led microfluidics lab practicals: Improving engagement and learning outcomes

Jonathan Andrew Scott Morton*, Helen Bridle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
238 Downloads (Pure)


Microfluidics has shown rapid growth in both research and development and offers significant commercialisation potential for biomedical and diagnostic applications in particular. However, there is a lack of awareness of microfluidics outside the field of study, and few dedicated educational programmes are available. While many topics incorporate microfluidics teaching, reported initiatives in the literature have not yet taken a problem based learning (PBL) approach to the delivery of practical sessions. The educational approaches already reported typically focus upon production and testing of pre-determined device designs for specific applications, using a recipe style of lab teaching. Here, we report on a newly designed lab section of a microfluidic teaching component utilising problem based learning (PBL) to involve the students in all aspects of design, manufacture, and performance characterisation of microfluidic solutions. Details of the lab design and development are given enabling others to replicate the lab structure described here or use it as a basis for the design of similar PBL microfluidics teaching labs. A key focus of the work has been the evaluation of the student experience, and the results of a survey indicate a high degree of student satisfaction and skills development due to the PBL approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034117
Issue number3
Early online date31 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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