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Issue 4, 2008
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Artificial cilia for active micro-fluidic mixing

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In lab-on-chip devices, on which complete (bio-)chemical analysis laboratories are miniaturized and integrated, it is essential to manipulate fluids in sub-millimetre channels and sub-microlitre chambers. A special challenge in these small micro-fluidic systems is to create good mixing flows, since it is almost impossible to generate turbulence. We propose an active micro-fluidic mixing concept inspired by nature, namely by micro-organisms that swim through a liquid by oscillating microscopic hairs, cilia, that cover their surface. We have fabricated artificial cilia consisting of electro-statically actuated polymer structures, and have integrated these in a micro-fluidic channel. Flow visualization experiments show that the cilia can generate substantial fluid velocities, up to 0.6 mm sāˆ’1. In addition, very efficient mixing is obtained using specially designed geometrical cilia configurations in a micro-channel. Since the artificial cilia can be actively controlled using electrical signals, they have exciting applications in micro-fluidic devices.

Graphical abstract: Artificial cilia for active micro-fluidic mixing

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The article was received on 15 Nov 2007, accepted on 05 Feb 2008 and first published on 04 Mar 2008

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B717681C
Lab Chip, 2008,8, 533-541

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    Artificial cilia for active micro-fluidic mixing

    J. D. Toonder, F. Bos, D. Broer, L. Filippini, M. Gillies, J. de Goede, T. Mol, M. Reijme, W. Talen, H. Wilderbeek, V. Khatavkar and P. Anderson, Lab Chip, 2008, 8, 533
    DOI: 10.1039/B717681C

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