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Issue 4, 2014
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Syringe-pump-induced fluctuation in all-aqueous microfluidic system implications for flow rate accuracy

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Abstract

We report a new method to display the minute fluctuations induced by syringe pumps on microfluidic flows by using a liquid–liquid system with an ultralow interfacial tension. We demonstrate that the stepper motor inside the pump is a source of fluctuations in microfluidic flows by comparing the frequencies of the ripples observed at the interface to that of the pulsation of the stepper motor. We also quantify the fluctuations induced at different flow rates, using syringes of different diameters, and using different syringe pumps with different advancing distances per step. Our work provides a way to predict the frequency of the fluctuation that the driving syringe pump induces on a microfluidic system and suggests that syringe pumps can be a source of fluctuations in microfluidic flows, thus contributing to the polydispersity of the resulting droplets.

Graphical abstract: Syringe-pump-induced fluctuation in all-aqueous microfluidic system implications for flow rate accuracy

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Oct 2013, accepted on 19 Nov 2013 and first published on 21 Nov 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC51176F
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 744-749

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    Syringe-pump-induced fluctuation in all-aqueous microfluidic system implications for flow rate accuracy

    Z. Li, S. Y. Mak, A. Sauret and H. C. Shum, Lab Chip, 2014, 14, 744
    DOI: 10.1039/C3LC51176F

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