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Open AccessArticle

Towards an Implantable, Low Flow Micropump That Uses No Power in the Blocked-Flow State

Rochester Institute of Technology, Microsystems Engineering, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
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Academic Editor: Kenichi Takahata
Micromachines 2016, 7(6), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7060099
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 26 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 1 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implantable Microsystems)
Low flow rate micropumps play an increasingly important role in drug therapy research. Infusions to small biological structures and lab-on-a-chip applications require ultra-low flow rates and will benefit from the ability to expend no power in the blocked-flow state. Here we present a planar micropump based on gallium phase-change actuation that leverages expansion during solidification to occlude the flow channel in the off-power state. The presented four chamber peristaltic micropump was fabricated with a combination of Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) techniques and additive manufacturing direct write technologies. The device is 7 mm × 13 mm × 1 mm (<100 mm3) with the flow channel and exterior coated with biocompatible Parylene-C, critical for implantable applications. Controllable pump rates from 18 to 104 nL/min were demonstrated, with 11.1 ± 0.35 nL pumped per actuation at an efficiency of 11 mJ/nL. The normally-closed state of the gallium actuator prevents flow and diffusion between the pump and the biological system or lab-on-a-chip, without consuming power. This is especially important for implanted applications with periodic drug delivery regimens. View Full-Text
Keywords: direct write; gallium; Hybrid MEMs; implantable; integration; micropump; microsystems; peristaltic; and phase-change direct write; gallium; Hybrid MEMs; implantable; integration; micropump; microsystems; peristaltic; and phase-change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Johnson, D.G.; Borkholder, D.A. Towards an Implantable, Low Flow Micropump That Uses No Power in the Blocked-Flow State. Micromachines 2016, 7, 99.

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