Integratable magnetic shape memory micropump for high-pressure, precision microfluidic applications

  • 558 Accesses

  • 7 Citations


Precisely controlling the flow of fluids on a microscopic scale has been a technological challenge in the field of microfluidics. Active microfluidics, where a defined manipulation of the working fluid is necessary, requires active components such as micropumps or microvalves. We report on an optimized design of an integratable, wireless micropump made from the magnetic shape memory (MSM) alloy Ni–Mn–Ga. An external magnetic field generates a shape change in the MSM material, which drives the fluid in a similar fashion as a peristaltic pump. Thus, the pump does not need electrical contacts and avoids the mechanical parts found in traditional pumping technologies, decreasing the complexity of the micropump. With a discrete pumping resolution of 50–150 nL per pumping cycle, which is further scalable, and a pumping pressure well exceeding 2 bar, the MSM micropump is capable of accurately delivering the fluids needed for microfluidic devices. The MSM micropump is self-priming, pumping both liquid and gas, and demonstrates repeatable performance across a range of pumping frequencies. Furthermore, it operates simultaneously as both a valve and reversible micropump, offering superior possibilities compared to existing technologies within the flow rate range of 0–2000 µL/min. Due to its simplicity, this technology can be scaled down easily, which lends itself for future integration into lab-on-a-chips and microreactors for life science and chemistry applications.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


  1. Aaltio I, Sozinov A, Ge Y, Ullakko K, Lindroos VK, Hannula S-P (2016) Giant magnetostrictive materials. In: Hashmi S (ed) Reference module in materials science and materials engineering. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 1–14

  2. Barker S, Rhoads E, Lindquist P, Vreugdenhil M, Müllner P (2016) Magnetic shape memory micropump for submicroliter intracranial drug delivery in rats. J Med Dev 10:041009.

  3. Berg JM, Anderson R, Anaya M, Lahlouh B, Holtz M, Dallas T (2003) A two-stage discrete peristaltic micropump. Sens Actuators A Phys 104:6–10.

  4. Gebert A, Roth S, Oswald S, Schultz L (2009) Passivity of polycrystalline NiMnGa alloys for magnetic shape memory applications. Corros Sci 51:1163–1171.

  5. Guttenberg Z, Müller H, Habermüller H, Geisbauer A, Pipper J, Felbel J, Kielpinski M, Scriba J, Wixforth A (2005) Planar chip device for PCR and hybridization with surface acoustic wave pump. Lab Chip 5:308–317.

  6. Harrison DJ, Manz A, Glavina PG (1991) Electroosmotic pumping within a chemical sensor system integrated on silicon. In: Proceeding of international conference on solid-state sensors and actuators, TRANSDUCERS ‘91. Digest of technical papers, San Francisco, pp 792–795.

  7. Husband B, Bu M, Evans AGR, Melvin T (2004) Investigation for the operation of an integrated peristaltic micropump. J Micromech Microeng 14:S64–S69.

  8. Jang LS, Kan WH (2007) Peristaltic piezoelectric micropump system for biomedical applications. Biomed Microdev 9:619–626.

  9. Juncker D, Schmid H, Drechsler U, Wolf H, Wolf M, Michel B, de Rooij N, Delamarch E (2002) Autonomous microfluidic capillary system. Anal Chem 74:6139–6144.

  10. Kai E, Pan T, Ziaie B (2004) A robust low-cost PDMS peristaltic micropump with magnetic drive. In: Conference proceedings of solid-state sensor, actuator and microsystems workshop, pp 270–273

  11. Laser DJ, Santiago JG (2004) A review of micropumps. J Micromech Microeng 14:R35.

  12. Liu XW, Söderberg O, Ge Y, Lanska N, Ullakko K, Lindroos VK (2003) On the corrosion of non-stoichiometric martensitic Ni–Mn–Ga alloys. J Phys IV Fr 112:935–938.

  13. Manz A, Graber N, Widmer HM (1990) Miniaturized total chemical analysis systems: a novel concept for chemical sensing. Sens Actuators B Chem 1:244–248.

  14. Murray SJ, Marioni MA, Allen SM, O’Handley RC, Lograsso TA (2000) 6% magnetic-field-induced strain by twin-boundary motion in ferromagnetic Ni–Mn–Ga. Appl Phys Lett 77:886–888.

  15. Murray SJ, Marioni M, Tello PG, Allen SM, O’Handley RC (2001) Giant magnetic-field-induced strain in Ni–Mn–Ga crystals: experimental results and modelling. J Magn Magn Mater 226:945–947.

  16. Musiienko D, Smith AR, Saren A, Ullakko K (2015) Stabilization of a fine twin structure in Ni–Mn–Ga by a diamond-like carbon coating. Scr Mater 106:9–12.

  17. Musiienko D, Saren A, Ullakko K (2017) Magnetic shape memory effect in single crystalline Ni–Mn–Ga foil thinned down to 1 μm. Scr Mater 139:152–154.

  18. Nguyen NT, Huang X, Chuan TK (2002) MEMS-micropumps: a review. J Fluids Eng 124:384–392.

  19. Pečar B, Križaj D, Vrtačnik D, Resnik D, Dolžan T, Možek M (2014) Piezoelectric peristaltic micropump with a single actuator. J Micromech Microeng 24:105010.

  20. Pouponneau P, Savadogo O, Napporn T, Yahia LH, Martel S (2011) Corrosion study of single crystal Ni–Mn–Ga alloy and Tb0.27Dy0.73Fe1.95 alloy for the design of new medical microdevices. J Mater Sci Mater Med 22:237–245.

  21. Saren A, Musiienko D, Smith AR, Ullakko K (2016) Pulsed magnetic field-induced single twin boundary motion in Ni–Mn–Ga 5M martensite: a laser vibrometry characterization. Scr Mater 113:153–157.

  22. Sheen HJ, Hsu CJ, Wu TH, Chang CC, Chu HC, Yang CY, Lei U (2008) Unsteady flow behaviors in an obstacle-type valveless micropump by micro-PIV. Microfluid Nanofluidics 4:331–342.

  23. Smith A, Tellinen J, Müllner P, Ullakko K (2014a) Controlling twin variant configuration in a constrained Ni–Mn–Ga sample using local magnetic fields. Scr Mater 77:68–70.

  24. Smith AR, Tellinen J, Ullakko K (2014b) Rapid actuation and response of Ni–Mn–Ga to magnetic-field-induced stress. Acta Mater 80:373–379.

  25. Smith AR, Saren A, Järvinen J, Ullakko K (2015) Characterization of a high-resolution solid-state micropump that can be integrated into microfluidic systems. Microfluid Nanofluid 18:1255–1263.

  26. Smits JG (1990) Piezoelectric micropump with three valves working peristaltically. Sens Actuators A Phys 21:203–206.

  27. Sozinov A, Likhachev AA, Lanska N, Ullakko K (2002) Giant magnetic-field-induced strain in NiMnGa seven-layered martensitic phase. Appl Phys Lett 80:1746–1748.

  28. Stepan LL, Levi DS, Gans E, Mohanchandra KP, Ujihara M, Carman GP (2007) Biocorrosion investigation of two shape memory nickel based alloys: Ni–Mn–Ga and thin film NiTi. J Biomed Mater Res 82A:768–776.

  29. Stone HA, Stroock AD, Ajdari A (2004) Microfluidics toward a lab-on-a-chip. Annu Rev Fluid Mech 36:381–411.

  30. Tellinen J, Suorsa I, Jääskeläinen A, Aaltio I, Ullakko K (2002) Basic properties of magnetic shape memory actuators. In: Borgmann H (ed) Proceedings of 8th international conference on new actuators, actuator. Messe Bremen GMBH, Bremen, pp 566–569

  31. Ullakko K, Likhachev AA (2000) Magnetic-field-controlled twin boundaries motion and giant magneto-mechanical effects in Ni–Mn–Ga shape memory alloy. Phys Lett A 275:142–151.

  32. Ullakko K, Huang JK, Kantner C, O’Handley RC, Kokorin VV (1996) Large magnetic-field-induced strains in Ni2MnGa single crystals. Appl Phys Lett 69:1966.

  33. Ullakko K, Wendell L, Smith A, Müllner P, Hampikian G (2012) A magnetic shape memory micropump: contact-free, and compatible with PCR and human DNA profiling. Smart Mater Struct 21:115020.

  34. Ullakko K, Chmielus M, Müllner P (2015) Stabilizing a fine twin structure in Ni–Mn–Ga samples by coatings and ion implantation. Scr Mater 94:40–43.

  35. Wang Z, Jian Z (2011) Recent advances in particle and droplet manipulation for lab-on-a-chip devices based on surface acoustic waves. Lab Chip 11:1280–1285.

  36. Webster JR, Burns MA, Burke DT, Mastrangelo CH (2000) Electrophoresis system with integrated on-chip fluorescence detection. In: Proceedings of 13 international conference on micro electro mechanical systems (Cat. No. 00CH36308), Miyazaki, pp 306–310.

  37. Whitesides GM (2006) The origins and the future of microfluidics. Nature 442:368–373.

  38. Zimmermann M, Schmid H, Hunziker P, Delamarche E (2006) Capillary pumps for autonomous capillary systems. Lab Chip 7:119–125.

Download references


Janne Huimasalo is thanked for his assistance in manufacturing the micropump and the experimental setup. The Academy of Finland (Grant No. 277996) is acknowledged for the financial support.

Author information

Correspondence to K. Ullakko.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (AVI 2801 kb)

Supplementary material 1 (AVI 2801 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Saren, A., Smith, A.R. & Ullakko, K. Integratable magnetic shape memory micropump for high-pressure, precision microfluidic applications. Microfluid Nanofluid 22, 38 (2018).

Download citation


  • Microfluidic
  • Micropump
  • Fluid delivery
  • Lab-on-a-chip
  • Magnetic shape memory
  • Ni–Mn–Ga