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A superparamagnetic bead driven fluidic device

Benjamin Husband, Tracy Melvin, and Alan G.R.Evans

Optoelectronics Research Centre and School of Electronics and Computer Science,
University of Southampton, UK


Injection strategies have been employed in the field of fluidic MEMS using piezo electric or thermal actuators. A very popular application for such technology is inkjet printing. Largely this technology is used to produce droplets of fluid in air; the aim of this investigation is to produce an injection device for the precise dispensing of nanolitre volumes of fluid. A novel technique for dispensing fluid using superparamagnetic beads has been investigated. The beads used (Dynal Biotech) contain a homogeneous dispersion of Fe2O3, allowing for easy control with a magnet. This magnetic property is exploited, by a plug of approximately 60 000 beads within a micro channel. This is accomplished by applying a non-uniform magnetic field from a bullet magnet within close proximity of the bead plug. Once the plug is formed it can be moved along the micro channel by moving the magnet and thus, provide a plunger-like action.Previous work has demonstrated a bead plug device is able to dispense fluid from a micro channel at rates up to 7.2μlmin-1. This is an investigation using silicon and Pyrex fabricated micro channels with smaller dimensions, such that the dimensions will be similar to those which will be used to produce a pipette device. Here results are presented using these fabricated micro channels, where the effects of using differently sized bead plugs and varying velocities are examined. The results follow our proposed theory; further analysis is required to determine the operation of a bead plug during all states of movement.

Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS II Seville, Spain 9 May (2005) Vol.5836(607) (Proceedings SPIE) Invited

doi: 10.1117/12.608699

Southampton ePrint id: 57745


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Copyright University of Southampton 2006