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Issue 18, 2018
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A self-sufficient pressure pump using latex balloons for microfluidic applications

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Abstract

Here, we demonstrate a self-sufficient, inexpensive and disposable pressure pump using commercially available latex balloons. The versatility of the pump is demonstrated against various microfluidic structures, liquid viscosities, and ambient temperatures. The flow rate of the pump can be controlled by varying the size and thickness of the balloon. Importantly, the soft structure of the balloon allows for almost instantaneous change of the flow rate upon manual squeezing of the balloon. This feature has been used for dynamically changing the flow ratio of parallel streams in a T-shaped channel or varying the size of droplets in a droplet generation system. The self-sufficiency, simplicity of fabrication and operation, along with the low-cost of the balloon pump facilitate the widespread application of microfluidic technologies for various research, education, and in situ monitoring purposes.

Graphical abstract: A self-sufficient pressure pump using latex balloons for microfluidic applications

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
07 May 2018
Accepted
23 Jul 2018
First published
25 Jul 2018

Lab Chip, 2018,18, 2730-2740
Article type
Paper
Author version available

A self-sufficient pressure pump using latex balloons for microfluidic applications

P. Thurgood, J. Y. Zhu, N. Nguyen, S. Nahavandi, A. R. Jex, E. Pirogova, S. Baratchi and K. Khoshmanesh, Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 2730
DOI: 10.1039/C8LC00471D

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