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Special Issue "Micropumps: Design, Fabrication and Applications"

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A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Peter Woias (Website)

Laboratory for Design of Microsystems, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), University of Freiburg, Georges-Koehler-Alle 102, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
Interests: microfluidics and micropumps; micro energy harvesting

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Within MEMS research, the micropump is regarded as a "long runner". Research concerning micropumps started in the mid-1970s. Since then, micropumps have always been the focus of development, with respect to their principal functions, designs and fabrications, and applications.

Consequently, we find a multitude of both mechanical and non-mechanical micropumps today. The first - and earliest - class mostly uses the principle of valve-based membrane pumps, which have different actuation concepts, valve types, and pumping concepts. In contrast, non-mechanical micropumps use a variety of direct actuation mechanisms (e.g., electrohydrodynamic, magnetohydrodynamic or electrophoretic principles). The design and fabrication of micropumps has gone through a spectrum of technologies and materials. The spectrum of fabrication materials and associated fabrication processes is extremely broad and includes silicon, glass, polymers, and metals. Similarly, the potential applications of micropumps have multiplied; applications range from systems for precision drug delivery and chemical analysis to high-power throughput devices.

This Special Issue assumes the challenge of giving an actual overview concerning the aforementioned huge diversity of principles, technologies, and applications. With the long history of micropump research in mind, we welcome contributions that describe the actual research and development regarding micropumps or micropump sub-components, which have distinctive features compared to the state-of-the-art. Novel and innovative fabrication processes and technologies should not be presented as stand-alone concepts but in conjunction with an actual micropump design. Applications of micropumps that demonstrate the advantages of miniaturization or the benefits of specific micro- and nanotechnologies and micropump designs (for a particular application scenario) are welcome. In summation, we expect a highly focused Special Issue that confirms the importance of micropump research for MEMS design, microfabrication, and application.

Prof. Dr. Peter Woias
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • Actuation principle: Mechanical, osmotic, electrohydrodynamic, magnetohydrodynamic, dielectrophoretic
  • Pumping concept: reciprocating, continuous, bidirectional, unidirectional, pressure-independent, constant flow
  • Actuation mechanism: piezoelectric, electromagnetic, thermopneumatic, electrostatic, phase change, bubble-type
  • Materials: Polymer, silicon, glass, metal
  • Applications: drug delivery, chemical analysis, lubrication, sampling, cell manipulation, gas pumping, fluid pumping

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Rotational Efficiency of Photo-Driven Archimedes Screws for Micropumps
Micromachines 2015, 6(6), 674-683; doi:10.3390/mi6060674
Received: 13 April 2015 / Revised: 13 May 2015 / Accepted: 4 June 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
PDF Full-text (3468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we characterized the rotational efficiency of the photo-driven Archimedes screw. The micron-sized Archimedes screws were fabricated using the two-photon polymerization technique. Free-floating screws trapped by optical tweezers align in the laser irradiation direction and rotate spontaneously. The influences of [...] Read more.
In this study, we characterized the rotational efficiency of the photo-driven Archimedes screw. The micron-sized Archimedes screws were fabricated using the two-photon polymerization technique. Free-floating screws trapped by optical tweezers align in the laser irradiation direction and rotate spontaneously. The influences of the screw pitch and the number of screw blades have been investigated in our previous studies. In this paper, the blade thickness and the central rod of the screw were further investigated. The experimental results indicate that the blade thickness contributes to rotational stability, but not to rotational speed, and that the central rod stabilizes the rotating screw but is not conducive to rotational speed. Finally, the effect of the numerical aperture (NA) of the optical tweezers was investigated through a demonstration. The NA is inversely proportional to the rotational speed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micropumps: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
Open AccessArticle A New Concept of a Drug Delivery System with Improved Precision and Patient Safety Features
Micromachines 2015, 6(1), 80-95; doi:10.3390/mi6010080
Received: 4 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
PDF Full-text (1848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a novel dosing concept for drug delivery based on a peristaltic piezo-electrically actuated micro membrane pump. The design of the silicon micropump itself is straight-forward, using two piezoelectrically actuated membrane valves as inlet and outlet, and a pump chamber [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel dosing concept for drug delivery based on a peristaltic piezo-electrically actuated micro membrane pump. The design of the silicon micropump itself is straight-forward, using two piezoelectrically actuated membrane valves as inlet and outlet, and a pump chamber with a piezoelectrically actuated pump membrane in-between. To achieve a precise dosing, this micropump is used to fill a metering unit placed at its outlet. In the final design this metering unit will be made from a piezoelectrically actuated inlet valve, a storage chamber with an elastic cover membrane and a piezoelectrically actuated outlet valve, which are connected in series. During a dosing cycle the metering unit is used to adjust the drug volume to be dispensed before delivery and to control the actually dispensed volume. To simulate the new drug delivery concept, a lumped parameter model has been developed to find the decisive design parameters. With the knowledge taken from the model a drug delivery system is designed that includes a silicon micro pump and, in a first step, a silicon chip with the storage chamber and two commercial microvalves as a metering unit. The lumped parameter model is capable to simulate the maximum flow, the frequency response created by the micropump, and also the delivered volume of the drug delivery system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micropumps: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
Open AccessArticle Design and Analysis of a High Force, Low Voltage and High Flow Rate Electro-Thermal Micropump
Micromachines 2014, 5(4), 1323-1341; doi:10.3390/mi5041323
Received: 11 August 2014 / Revised: 22 September 2014 / Accepted: 1 October 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the design and simulation of an improved electro-thermal micromachined pump for drug delivery applications. Thermal actuators, which are a type of Micro Electro Mechanical system (MEMS) device, are highly useful because of their ability to deliver with great force [...] Read more.
This paper presents the design and simulation of an improved electro-thermal micromachined pump for drug delivery applications. Thermal actuators, which are a type of Micro Electro Mechanical system (MEMS) device, are highly useful because of their ability to deliver with great force and displacement. Thus, our structure is based on a thermal actuator that exploits the Joule heating effect and has been improved using the springy length properties of MEMS chevron beams. The Joule heating effect results in a difference in temperature and therefore displacement in the beams (actuators). Simulation results show that a maximum force of 4.4 mN and a maximum flow rate of 16 μL/min can be obtained by applying an AC voltage as low as 8 V at different frequencies ranging from 1 to 32 Hz. The maximum temperature was a problem at the chevron beams and the center shaft. Thus, to locally increase the temperature of the chevron beams alone and not that of the pumping diaphragm: (1) The air gaps 2 μm underneath and above the device layer were optimized for heat transfer. (2) Release holes and providing fins were created at the center shaft and actuator, respectively, to decrease the temperature by approximately 10 °C. (3) We inserted and used a polymer tube to serve as an insulator and eliminate leakage problems in the fluidic channel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micropumps: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
Open AccessArticle Insulin Micropump with Embedded Pressure Sensors for Failure Detection and Delivery of Accurate Monitoring
Micromachines 2014, 5(4), 1161-1172; doi:10.3390/mi5041161
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 4 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1709 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improved glycemic control with insulin pump therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus has shown gradual reductions in nephropathy and retinopathy. More recently, the emerging concept of the artificial pancreas, comprising an insulin pump coupled to a continuous glucose meter and [...] Read more.
Improved glycemic control with insulin pump therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus has shown gradual reductions in nephropathy and retinopathy. More recently, the emerging concept of the artificial pancreas, comprising an insulin pump coupled to a continuous glucose meter and a control algorithm, would become the next major breakthrough in diabetes care. The patient safety and the efficiency of the therapy are directly derived from the delivery accuracy of rapid-acting insulin. For this purpose, a specific precision-oriented design of micropump has been built. The device, made of a stack of three silicon wafers, comprises two check valves and a pumping membrane that is actuated against stop limiters by a piezo actuator. Two membranes comprising piezoresistive strain gauges have been implemented to measure the pressure in the pumping chamber and at the outlet of the pump. Their high sensitivity makes possible the monitoring of the pumping accuracy with a tolerance of ±5% for each individual stroke of 200 nL. The capability of these sensors to monitor priming, reservoir overpressure, reservoir emptying, outlet occlusion and valve leakage has also been studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micropumps: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
Open AccessArticle Stress-Free Bonding Technology with Pyrex for Highly Integrated 3D Fluidic Microsystems
Micromachines 2014, 5(3), 783-796; doi:10.3390/mi5030783
Received: 4 August 2014 / Revised: 5 September 2014 / Accepted: 11 September 2014 / Published: 23 September 2014
PDF Full-text (9615 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, a novel Pyrex reflow bonding technology is introduced which bonds two functional units made of silicon via a Pyrex reflow bonding process. The practical application demonstrated here is a precision dosing system that uses a mechanically actuated membrane micropump [...] Read more.
In this article, a novel Pyrex reflow bonding technology is introduced which bonds two functional units made of silicon via a Pyrex reflow bonding process. The practical application demonstrated here is a precision dosing system that uses a mechanically actuated membrane micropump which includes passive membranes for fluid metering. To enable proper functioning after full integration, a technique for device assembly must be established which does not introduce additional stress into the system, but fulfills all other requirements, like pressure tolerance and chemical stability. This is achieved with a stress-free thermal bonding principle to bond Pyrex to silicon in a five-layer stack: after alignment, the silicon-Pyrex-silicon stack is heated to 730 °C. Above the glass transition temperature of 525 °C Pyrex exhibits viscoelastic behavior. This allows the glass layer to come into close mechanical contact with the upper and lower silicon layers. The high temperature and the close contact promotes the formation of a stable and reliable Si-O-Si bond, without introducing mechanical stress into the system, and without deformation upon cooling due to thermal mismatch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micropumps: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
Open AccessArticle A Peristaltic Pump Integrated on a 100% Glass Microchip Using Computer Controlled Piezoelectric Actuators
Micromachines 2014, 5(2), 289-299; doi:10.3390/mi5020289
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 2 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 23 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Lab-on-a-chip technology is promising for the miniaturization of chemistry, biochemistry, and/or biology researchers looking to exploit the advantages of a microspace. To manipulate fluid on a microchip, on-chip pumps are indispensable. To date, there have been several types of on-chip pumps including [...] Read more.
Lab-on-a-chip technology is promising for the miniaturization of chemistry, biochemistry, and/or biology researchers looking to exploit the advantages of a microspace. To manipulate fluid on a microchip, on-chip pumps are indispensable. To date, there have been several types of on-chip pumps including pneumatic, electroactive, and magnetically driven. However these pumps introduce polymers, metals, and/or silicon to the microchip, and these materials have several disadvantages, including chemical or physical instability, or an inherent optical detection limit. To overcome/avoid these issues, glass has been one of the most commonly utilized materials for the production of multi-purpose integrated chemical systems. However, glass is very rigid, and it is difficult to incorporate pumps onto glass microchips. This paper reports the use of a very flexible, ultra-thin glass sheet (minimum thickness of a few micrometers) to realize a pump installed on an entirely glass-based microchip. The pump is a peristaltic-type, composed of four serial valves sealing a cavity with two penetrate holes using ultra-thin glass sheet. By this pump, an on-chip circulating flow was demonstrated by directly observing fluid flow, visualized via polystyrene tracking particles. The flow rate was proportional to the pumping frequency, with a maximum flow rate of approximately 0.80 μL/min. This on-chip pump could likely be utilized in a wide range of applications which require the stability of a glass microchip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micropumps: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
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