Finger-Powered Fluidic Actuation and Mixing via MultiJet 3D Printing


Additive manufacturing, or three-dimensional (3D) printing, has garnered significant interest in recent years towards the fabrication of sub-millimeter scale devices for an ever-widening array of chemical, biological and biomedical applications. Conventional 3D printed fluidic systems, however, still necessitate the use of non-portable, high-powered external off-chip sources of fluidic actuation, such as electro-mechanical pumps and complex pressure-driven controllers, thus limiting their scope towards point-of-need applications. This work proposes entirely 3D printed sources of human-powered fluidic actuation which can be directly incorporated into the design of any 3D printable sub-millifluidic or microfluidic system where electrical power-free operation is desired. Multiple modular, single-fluid finger-powered actuator (FPA) designs were fabricated and experimentally characterized. Furthermore, a new 3D fluidic one-way valve concept employing a dynamic bracing mechanism was developed, demonstrating a high diodicity of ⇠1117.4 and significant reduction in back-flow from the state-of-the-art. As a result, fabricated FPA prototypes achieved tailorable experimental fluid flow rates from ⇠100 to ⇠3000 µL/min without the use of electricity to. Moreover, a portable human-powered two-fluid pulsatile fluidic mixer, capable of generating fully-mixed fluids in 10 seconds, is presented, demonstrating the application of FPAs towards on-chip integration into more complex 3D printed fluidic networks.

Eric Sweet
Rudra Mehta
Yifan Xu
Ryan Jew
Rachel Lin
Publication date: 
August 4, 2020
Publication type: 
Journal Article
Lab Chip, 2020,20, 3375-3385

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