DOI: 10.3390/mi14071286 ISSN: 2072-666X

3D-Printed Microfluidic One-Way Valves and Pumps

Hunter Hinnen, Matthew Viglione, Troy R. Munro, Adam T. Woolley, Gregory P. Nordin
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering

New microfluidic lab-on-a-chip capabilities are enabled by broadening the toolkit of devices that can be created using microfabrication processes. For example, complex geometries made possible by 3D printing can be used to approach microfluidic design and application in new or enhanced ways. In this paper, we demonstrate three distinct designs for microfluidic one-way (check) valves that can be fabricated using digital light processing stereolithography (DLP-SLA) with a poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) resin, each with an internal volume of 5–10 nL. By mapping flow rate to pressure in both the forward and reverse directions, we compare the different designs and their operating characteristics. We also demonstrate pumps for each one-way valve design comprised of two one-way valves with a membrane valve displacement chamber between them. An advantage of such pumps is that they require a single pneumatic input instead of three as for conventional 3D-printed pumps. We also characterize the achievable flow rate as a function of the pneumatic control signal period. We show that such pumps can be used to create a single-stage diffusion mixer with significantly reduced pneumatic drive complexity.

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