Microfluidic solid phase suspension transport with an elastomer-based, single piezo-actuator, micro throttle pump
Johnston, I. D.
Davis, J. B.
Tan, C. K. L.
We report a Micro Throttle Pump (MTP) which has been shown to pump 5 mm diameter polystyrene beads at a concentration of 4.5 x 10(7) beads ml(-1). This new MTP design is constructed in a straightforward manner and actuated by a single piezoelectric (PZT) element. Maximum flow rates at 800 Hz drive frequency of 132 mul min(-1) with water and 108 mul min(-1) with a bead suspension were obtained. Maximum back-pressures of 6 kPa were observed in both cases. The reported MTP employs specific location of distinct internal microfluid structures cast in a single compliant elastomeric substrate to exploit the opposing directions of flexure of regions of a piezoelectric - glass composite bonded to the elastomer. By this novel means, distinct flexural regions, exhibiting compressive and tensile stresses respectively, allow both the pump's integrated input and output throttles and its pump chamber to be actuated concurrently by a single PZT. To support MTP design we also report the characterisation of an individual throttle's resistance as a function of actuator deflection and discuss the underlying mechanism of the throttling effect.