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Issue 5, 2015
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An optopneumatic piston for microfluidics

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We demonstrate an optopneumatic piston based on glass capillaries, a mixture of PDMS–carbon nanopowder, silicone and mineral oil. The fabrication method is based on wire coating techniques and surface tension-driven instabilities, and allows for the assembly of several pistons from a single batch production. By coupling the photothermal response of the PDMS–carbon mixture with optical excitation via an optical fiber, we demonstrate that the piston can work either as a valve or as a reciprocal actuator. The death volume of the pistons was between 0.02 and 1.56 μL and the maximum working frequency was around 1 Hz. Analysis of the motion during the expansion/contraction of the piston shows that this machine can be described by a phenomenological equation analogous to the Kelvin–Voight model used in viscoelasticity, having elastic and viscous components.

Graphical abstract: An optopneumatic piston for microfluidics

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Article information

24 Nov 2014
18 Dec 2014
First published
18 Dec 2014

Lab Chip, 2015,15, 1335-1342
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Author version available

An optopneumatic piston for microfluidics

J. R. Vélez-Cordero, M. G. P. Zúñiga and J. Hernández-Cordero, Lab Chip, 2015, 15, 1335
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC01389A

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