Introduction to BioMEMS: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Introduction to BioMEMS

1st Edition

By Albert Folch

CRC Press

528 pages | 476 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781439818398
pub: 2012-08-21

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The entire scope of the BioMEMS field—at your fingertips

Helping to educate the new generation of engineers and biologists, Introduction to BioMEMS explains how certain problems in biology and medicine benefit from and often require the miniaturization of devices. The book covers the whole breadth of this dynamic field, including classical microfabrication, microfluidics, tissue engineering, cell-based and noncell-based devices, and implantable systems. It focuses on high-impact, creative work encompassing all the scales of life—from biomolecules to cells, tissues, and organisms.

Brilliant color presentation

Avoiding the overwhelming details found in many engineering and physics texts, this groundbreaking book—in color throughout—includes only the most essential formulas as well as many noncalculation-based exercises. Important terms are highlighted in bold and defined in a glossary. The text contains more than 400 color figures, most of which are from the original researchers.

Coverage of both historical perspectives and the latest developments

Developed from the author’s long-running course, this classroom-tested text gives readers a vivid picture of how the field has grown by presenting historical perspectives and a timeline of seminal discoveries. It also describes numerous state-of-the-art biomedical applications that benefit from "going small," including devices that record the electrical activity of brain cells, measure the diffusion of molecules in microfluidic channels, and allow for high-throughput studies of gene expression.


"I highly recommend this book for an advanced undergraduate or entry-level interdisciplinary graduate course in BioMEMS. It is well written and produced. The color figures differentiate it from other textbooks in this area and the author has done a thorough job documenting the history and current practices in this rapidly developing field. I plan to use it in my own class."

—Joel A. Kubby, University of California, Santa Cruz, BioMedical Engineering OnLine, 2013

"In this classroom-tested textbook, Folch offers a broad, yet detailed lecture on BioMEMS, sharing information in clear, straightforward language and over 400 excellent color figures. The inclusion of only the most important formulae and thought experiments instead of involved mathematical exercises makes this textbook easily readable and relevant both to entry-level as well as advanced researchers. This also makes Introduction to BioMEMS a perfect guide and an easy-to-use comprehensive textbook for researchers from different science and engineering fields."

—Ali Khademhosseini, Harvard Medical School and MIT, Lab on a Chip, 2013

"For anyone interested in learning more about the basics and applications of BioMEMS, I would give my most enthusiastic and unconditional recommendation to an excellent textbook in the field: Introduction to BioMEMS by Prof. Albert Folch. This textbook provides readers with an excellent balance of detailed descriptions and engaging visuals to describe key developments in BioMEMS technology. Additionally, the author highlights important formulas and explains underlying principles in a simple but thorough manner, which allows readers to gain a more comprehensive understanding of these biomedical devices and their applications. …

I highly recommend Introduction to BioMEMS for students interested in learning more about innovative, state-of-the-art biomedical applications. I believe this textbook is well-suited for students from a variety of backgrounds, as it does a brilliant job of explaining fundamental concepts and ideas. … a valuable resource for instructors, as it contains practical exercises, tips for exams, and many sections that lend themselves to interesting classroom discussions. Ultimately, I believe Introduction to BioMEMS should be considered required reading for any student entering the field of BioMEMS. It can serve as the bible in the field."

—Tony Jun Huang, The Pennsylvania State University, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 2013

"The field has been waiting for a true textbook that provides a practical, historical, authoritative and comprehensive introduction to bioMEMS. It has finally arrived, courtesy of Albert Folch, complete with PowerPoint lectures and thoughtful homework questions. I highly recommend it."

—David J. Beebe, University of Wisconsin–Madison

"A comprehensive, colorful textbook on the important field of bioMEMS. I will definitely recommend to my students!"

—Albert van den Berg, University of Twente

"Dr. Folch’s book is a monumental achievement which brings an authoritative and comprehensive account to the rapidly growing, multidisciplinary field of bioMEMS. Many working scientists and engineers as well as students will find this book fascinating."

—Mehmet Toner, Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Bioengineering, Harvard Medical School

"This book successfully integrates microfabrication and the physics of microfluidics with numerous biological applications. It provides a visual feast of images that lead to a comprehensive understanding of many complex concepts. Applications presented range from biomolecules to cells, tissues, and organisms, and are presented in clear, logical steps. It serves as an outstanding text for advanced undergraduates and graduate students, as well as an excellent review for researchers who are new to the field."

—Dr. Fawwaz Habbal, Harvard University

"An excellent, easy-to-ready textbook for everyone who wants to obtain a fundamental understanding of bioMEMS technology and get inspired about micro/nano bioengineering."

—Professor Nikos Chronis, University of Michigan

"With extensive citations of the current literature, explanations that really put the technology in context, clear enunciation of the motivations for miniaturization, and historical perspective, the author has made the material very accessible and clear … . I definitely recommend this textbook for bioengineering students."

—Professor Karen C. Cheung, University of British Columbia

Table of Contents

How Do We Make Small Things?

Why Bother Making Things Small?

From Art to Chips




Soft Lithography

Hydrogel Devices

Nanofabrication Techniques

Fabrication Based on Self-Assembly: A "Bottom-Up" Approach

Micropatterning of Substrates and Cells

Interaction between Surfaces and Biomolecules

Surface Engineering

Micropatterns of SAMs

Micropatterns of Proteins

Micropatterns of Cells on Nonbiomolecular Templates

Micropatterns of Cells on Biomolecular Templates


Why Go Small?

Microscale Behavior of Fluids

Fluids in Electrical Fields

Fluids in Acoustic Fields

Fabrication of Microfluidic Channels

Operation of Microfluidic Channels: Practical Concerns

Droplet Microfluidics

Active Flow Control


Combinatorial Mixers

Molecular Biology on a Chip

The Importance of Miniaturizing Molecular Biology

The Importance of Point-of-Care Diagnostics: Where is Cost Really, Really, Really Important?

Sample Preparation: A Bloody Example

The Problem with Microfluidic Sample Separation

Microfluidic Immunoassays

Chips for Genomics and Proteomics

Electrospray Mass Spectrometry

Biochemical Analysis Using Force Sensors

Cell-Based Chips for Biotechnology

Microfluidic Flow Cytometers

Cell Sorting

Cell Trapping

Microfluidic Cell Culture Laboratories

Gene Expression Cellular Microarrays ("Cellomics")


Cells on Microelectrodes

Patch Clamp Chips


Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Whole Animal Testing

BioMEMS for Cell Biology

An Enabling Technology: The Hurdles

Cell-Substrate Signaling

Cell-Cell Communication

Cell Migration

BioMEMS for Cellular Neurobiology

Developmental Biology on a Chip

Yeast Biology

Plant Cell Biology

Microfluidics for Studying Cellular Dynamics

Tissue Microengineering


Micropatterned Cocultures

Stem Cell Engineering


Implantable Microdevices

Dental Implants

Implantable Microelectrodes

Delivery of Soluble Signals into the Body

Microtools for Surgery

Insect Research



A Summary and Further Reading appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Author

Albert Folch is an associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. Dr. Folch has previously worked as a postdoc researcher at Harvard University’s Center for Engineering in Medicine, a postdoc researcher at MIT, and a visiting scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award and is on the advisory board of Lab on a Chip. His research focuses on the interface between cell biology and microfluidics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biotechnology