Control and systems development of a real-time microfluidic antibiotic screening and single-cell detection platform. 

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Systems design, biotechnology, antimicrobial resistance, microfluidics


To combat antimicrobial resistance, high throughput, self-adapting systems that enable microscale biophysical quantification of antibiotic susceptibility and single-cell detection are needed. We have developed a microfluidic manufacturing technology to create porous substrates for bacterial trapping and biofilm formation. The device has been through a catalogue of mechanical and biochemical tests in the lab. This project aims to upscale the device into a prototype module, by integrating control systems for real-time analysis and automation.

Skills you will learn

Design of an integrated, adaptive control system – Integrate fluid control components, sensors and optical equipment for online monitoring of the action of antibiotic treatment against bacterial biofilms. The control system should form a library enabling the initiation of mechanical tests, permeability tests, antibiotic susceptibility tests, the injection of exogenous fluorometric stains and sample collection and ejection.

MVP module design – Package the system to be a portable, robust unit. 


The student will have access to the components of the system, our image analysis library and mechanical test protocols currently validated in the lab. The student will not be expected to perform any wet-lab work. This project is aimed at students with an interest in designing systems for biotechnology and bio-manufacturing applications.

Project start

1 July 2024 onwards


HIF Hönggerberg

Project type

This project can be adapted for a Master thesis or Master project.

Contact details

Dr. Sam Charlton (