Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 4, 2003
Previous Article Next Article

Electrically actuated, pressure-driven microfluidic pumps

Author affiliations


In order to make the lab-on-a-chip concept a reality, it is desirable to have an integrated component capable of pumping fluids through microchannels. We have developed novel, electrically actuated micropumps and have integrated them with microfluidic systems. These devices utilize the build-up of electrolysis gases to achieve pressure-driven pumping, only require small voltages (∼10 V), and have approximate dimensions of 5 cm × 3 cm × 2 cm. Furthermore, these micropumps are composed of relatively inexpensive materials, and the reversible sealability of their poly(dimethylsiloxane) body to different microfluidic arrays enables repeated uses of the same pump. Under an applied potential of 10 V, three different micropumps had average flow rates of 8–13 µL min−1 for water being pumped through five different 2 cm-long, 5500 µm2 cross-sectional-area channels in poly(methyl methacrylate), in approximate agreement with predicted pump rates. We have also evaluated pump operation at the lower applied potential of 8 V and observed an average flow rate of 6.1 µL min−1 for a pump–channel system. The current micropump design is capable of sustaining pumping pressures in the range of 300 kPa. The various advantages of these micropumps make them well suited for use in lab-on-a-chip analysis techniques.

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 14 Aug 2003, accepted on 22 Sep 2003 and first published on 08 Oct 2003

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/B309788A
Lab Chip, 2003,3, 217-220

  •   Request permissions

    Electrically actuated, pressure-driven microfluidic pumps

    J. W. Munyan, H. V. Fuentes, M. Draper, R. T. Kelly and A. T. Woolley, Lab Chip, 2003, 3, 217
    DOI: 10.1039/B309788A

Search articles by author