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Issue 20, 2012
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A fermentation-powered thermopneumatic pump for biomedical applications

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Abstract

We present a microorganism-powered thermopneumatic pump that utilizes temperature-dependent slow-kinetics gas (carbon dioxide) generating fermentation of yeast as a pressure source. The pump consists of stacked layers of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and a silicon substrate that form a drug reservoir, and a yeast-solution-filled working chamber. The pump operates by the displacement of a drug due to the generation of gas produced via yeast fermentation carried out at skin temperatures. The robustness of yeast allows for long shelf life under extreme environmental conditions (50 °C, >250 MPa, 5–8% humidity). The generation of carbon dioxide is a linear function of time for a given temperature, thus allowing for a controlled volume displacement. A polymeric prototype (dimensions 15 mm × 15 mm × 10 mm) with a slow flow rate of <0.23 μL min−1 and maximum backpressure of 5.86 kPa capable of continuously pumping for over two hours is presented and characterized.

Graphical abstract: A fermentation-powered thermopneumatic pump for biomedical applications

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
29 May 2012
Accepted
09 Aug 2012
First published
13 Aug 2012

Lab Chip, 2012,12, 4044-4048
Article type
Technical Innovation

A fermentation-powered thermopneumatic pump for biomedical applications

M. Ochoa and B. Ziaie, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 4044 DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40620A

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