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Issue 9, 2006
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Concepts for a new class of all-polymer micropumps

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This paper presents a polymer-based micropump addressing the cost, performance, and system compatibility issues that have limited the integration of on-chip micropumps into microanalysis systems. This pump uses dielectric elastomer actuation to periodically displace fluid, and a pair of elastomeric check valves to rectify the fluid's resulting movement. Its significant features include the use of a transparent substrate, self-priming capability, insensitivity to gas bubbles, and the ability to admit particles. A pump occupying less than 10 mm2 of chip space produced a 77 µl min−1 flow rate. The pump has a high thermodynamic efficiency and exhibits little performance degradation over 10 hours of operation. In addition to its notable performance, the pump can be fabricated at low cost and directly integrated into microfluidic chips that use planar softlithography-formed structures. The new pump concept, fabrication, and experimental performance are discussed herein.

Graphical abstract: Concepts for a new class of all-polymer micropumps

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Apr 2006, accepted on 03 Jul 2006 and first published on 18 Jul 2006

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B605525G
Citation: Lab Chip, 2006,6, 1147-1154
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    Concepts for a new class of all-polymer micropumps

    J. J. Loverich, I. Kanno and H. Kotera, Lab Chip, 2006, 6, 1147
    DOI: 10.1039/B605525G

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