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Materials science: the key to revolutionary breakthroughs in micro-fluidic devices

Czugala, Monika and Ziółkowski, Bartosz and Byrne, Robert and Diamond, Dermot and Benito-Lopez, Fernando (2011) Materials science: the key to revolutionary breakthroughs in micro-fluidic devices. In: SPIE conference 2011, 21-25 Aug 2011, San Diego California USA.

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In microfluidics, valves and pumps that can combine specifications like precise flow control, provision of precise reagent quantities, minimal sample carryover, and low-cost manufacture, while also being inherently compatible with microfluidic system fabrication, are beyond the current state of the art. Actuators in micro-fluidics made using stimuli-responsive materials are therefore of great interest as functional materials since actuation can be controlled without physical contact, offering improvements in versatility during manifold fabrication, and control of the actuation mechanism. Herein we review the potential use of novel approaches to valving and pumping based on stimuli-responsive polymers for controlling fluid movement within micro-fluidic channels. This has the potential to dramatically simplify the design, fabrication and cost of microfluidic systems. In particular, stimuli-responsive gels incorporating ionic liquids (ILs) produce so-called ‘ionogels’ that have many advantages over conventional materials. For example, through the tailoring of chemical and physical properties of ILs, robustness, acid/ base character, viscosity and other critical operational characteristics can be finely adjusted. Therefore, the characteristics of the ionogels can be tuned by simply changing the IL and so the actuation behaviour of micro-valves made from these novel materials can be more closely controlled.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Type:Conference
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sensors; actuators; microfluidics; new materials
Subjects:Physical Sciences > Chemistry
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Chemical Sciences
Research Initiatives and Centres > CLARITY: The Centre for Sensor Web Technologies
Research Initiatives and Centres > National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR)
Published in:Proceedings of SPIE 8107. (8107). Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.
Publisher:Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Official URL:
Copyright Information:© 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
Funders:The authors wish to thank to the Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the EC FP7 People Programme, Science Foundation of Ireland under grant 07/CE/I1147, for supplying the phosphonium salt
ID Code:16562
Deposited On:07 Sep 2011 11:00 by Fernando Benito-Lopez. Last Modified 15 Feb 2017 15:25

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