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Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1970;

A Laminar Flow-Based Microfluidic Tesla Pump via Lithography Enabled 3D Printing

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering Program, University of Michigan at Dearborn, 2088 IAVS Building, 4901 Evergreen Rd., Dearborn, MI 48128, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Amine Miled and Jesse Greener
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2389 KB, uploaded 23 November 2016]   |  


Tesla turbine and its applications in power generation and fluid flow were demonstrated by Nicholas Tesla in 1913. However, its real-world implementations were limited by the difficulty to maintain laminar flow between rotor disks, transient efficiencies during rotor acceleration, and the lack of other applications that fully utilize the continuous flow outputs. All of the aforementioned limits of Tesla turbines can be addressed by scaling to the microfluidic flow regime. Demonstrated here is a microscale Tesla pump designed and fabricated using a Digital Light Processing (DLP) based 3D printer with 43 µm lateral and 30 µm thickness resolutions. The miniaturized pump is characterized by low Reynolds number of 1000 and a flow rate of up to 12.6 mL/min at 1200 rpm, unloaded. It is capable of driving a mixer network to generate microfluidic gradient. The continuous, laminar flow from Tesla turbines is well-suited to the needs of flow-sensitive microfluidics, where the integrated pump will enable numerous compact lab-on-a-chip applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tesla turbine; Tesla valve; microfluidic; DLP; 3D printing Tesla turbine; Tesla valve; microfluidic; DLP; 3D printing

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Habhab, M.-B.; Ismail, T.; Lo, J.F. A Laminar Flow-Based Microfluidic Tesla Pump via Lithography Enabled 3D Printing. Sensors 2016, 16, 1970.

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