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Sensors 2013, 13(3), 3092-3108; doi:10.3390/s130303092

A Strip-Type Microthrottle Pump: Modeling, Design and Fabrication

Received: 16 January 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2013 / Accepted: 27 February 2013 / Published: 4 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidic Devices)
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A novel design for a strip-type microthrottle pump with a rectangular actuator geometry is proposed, with more efficient chip surface consumption compared to existing micropumps with circular actuators. Due to the complex structure and operation of the proposed device, determination of detailed structural parameters is essential. Therefore, we developed an advanced, fully coupled 3D electro-fluid-solid mechanics simulation model in COMSOL that includes fluid inertial effects and a hyperelastic model for PDMS and no-slip boundary condition in fluid-wall interface. Numerical simulation resulted in accurate virtual prototyping of the proposed device only after inclusion of all mentioned effects. Here, we provide analysis of device operation at various frequencies which describes the basic pumping effects, role of excitation amplitude and backpressure and provides optimization of critical design parameters such as optimal position and height of the microthrottles. Micropump prototypes were then fabricated and characterized. Measured characteristics proved expected micropump operation, achieving maximal flow-rate 0.43 mL·min−1 and maximal backpressure 12.4 kPa at 300 V excitation. Good agreement between simulation and measurements on fabricated devices confirmed the correctness of the developed simulation model.
Keywords: microthrottle pump; micropump; numerical simulation; 3D fully coupled model; hyperelastic model; PDMS; lab on chip; COMSOL; fluidics; optimization microthrottle pump; micropump; numerical simulation; 3D fully coupled model; hyperelastic model; PDMS; lab on chip; COMSOL; fluidics; optimization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Pečar, B.; Vrtačnik, D.; Resnik, D.; Možek, M.; Aljančič, U.; Dolžan, T.; Amon, S.; Križaj, D. A Strip-Type Microthrottle Pump: Modeling, Design and Fabrication. Sensors 2013, 13, 3092-3108.

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