Ionic electroactive polymer actuators as active microfluidic mixers
On-chip sample processing is integral to the continued development of lab-on-a-chip devices for various applications. An active microfluidic mixer prototype is proposed using ionic electroactive polymer actuators (IEAPAs) as artificial cilia. A proof-of-concept experiment was performed in which the actuators were shown to produce localized flow pattern disruptions in the laminar flow regime. Suggestions for further engineering and optimization of a scaled-down, complete device are provided. While the device in its current state of development necessitates further engineering, the use of IEAPAs addresses issues currently associated with the use of electromechanical actuators as active microfluidic mixers and may prove to be a useful alternative to other similar materials.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Microfluidics Research 2015-2016