Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Chemical Engineering


Adrienne R. Minerick


The present dissertation aimed to develop a new microfluidic system for a point-of-care hematocrit device. Stabilization of microfluidic systems via surfactant additives and integration of semipermeable SnakeSkin® membranes was investigated. Both methods stabilized the microfluidic systems by controlling electrolysis bubbles. Surfactant additives, Triton X-100 and SDS stabilized promoted faster bubble detachment at electrode surfaces by lowering surface tension and decreased gas bubble formation by increasing gas solubility. The SnakeSkin® membranes blocked bubbles from entering the microchannel and thus less disturbance to the electric field by bubbles occurred in the microchannel. Platinum electrode performance was improved by carbonizing electrode surface using red blood cells. Irreversibly adsorbed RBCs lysed on platinum electrode surfaces and formed porous carbon layers while current response measurements. The formed carbon layers increase the platinum electrode surface area and thus electrode performance was improved by 140 %. The microfluidic system was simplified by employing DC field to use as a platform for a point-of-care hematocrit device. Feasibility of the microfluidic system for hematocrit determination was shown via current response measurements of red blood cell suspensions in phosphate buffered saline and plasma media. The linear trendline of current responses over red blood cell concentration was obtained in both phosphate buffered saline and plasma media. This research suggested that a new and simple microfluidic system could be a promising solution to develop an inexpensive and reliable point-of-care hematocrit device.