, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 545-554

Membrane-activated microfluidic rotary devices for pumping and mixing

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Microfluidic devices are operated at a low-Reynolds-number flow regime such that the transportation and mixing of fluids are naturally challenging. There is still a great need to integrate fluid control systems such as pumps, valves and mixers with other functional microfluidic devices to form a micro-total-analysis-system. This study presents a new pneumatic microfluidic rotary device capable of transporting and mixing two different kinds of samples in an annular microchannel by using MEMS (Micro-electro-mechanical-systems) technology. Pumping and mixing can be achieved using a single device with different operation modes. The micropump has four membranes with an annular layout and is compact in size. The new device has a maximum pumping rate of 165.7 μL/min at a driving frequency of 17 Hz and an air pressure of 30 psi. Experimental data show that the pumping rate increases as higher air pressure and driving frequency are applied. In addition, not only can the microfluidic rotary device work as a peristaltic pumping device, but it also is an effective mixing device. The performance of the micromixer is extensively characterized. Experimental data indicate that a mixing index as high as 96.3% can be achieved. The developed microfluidic rotary device can be easily integrated with other microfluidic devices due to its simple and reliable PDMS fabrication process. The development of the microfluidic rotary device can be promising for micro-total-analysis-systems.