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Eric Sweet, Ph.D. 2020

Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Prof. Lin


3D Printed Integrated Microfluidics: Circuitry, Finger-Powered Pumps and Mixers [BPN774]
Low-powered microfluidic systems have been demonstrated in a variety of point-of-care biomedical diagnostic
applications; however, the potential for the widespread commercial applicability of this technology, the requirement
for being portable, disposable and inexpensive, is greatly hindered by the nearly-ubiquitous need for bulky and
expensive externally-powered pressure sources needed to pump fluids through such devices. Furthermore, as
advanced additive manufacturing techniques such as micro/nano-scale 3D printing are becoming more widely used
in BioMEMS manufacturing, conventional soft-lithography fabrication approaches are becoming comparatively more
costly, time consuming and labor intensive. To overcome these critical limitations of conventional microfluidics, for
this project we propose a low-cost microfluidic one-way pumping and mixing system powered solely by the
operatorís finger fabricated via micro-scale 3D printing. The three-dimensional geometric complexity permitted only
by additive manufacturing processes allows for the construction of fully-integrated three-dimensional micro-scale
fluidic control and actuation elements (i.e. fluidic diodes and thin membrane-enclosed interconnected balloon
cavities and capacitor- like fluidic actuation source). We demonstrate a 3D printed one-way microfluidic pump,
allowing the user to pump fluid at upwards of 150 micro-Liters/minute, with flow rate correlating to the pumping
frequency. Furthermore, we will demonstrate the application of two integrated one-way pumps as a 3D printed
microfluidic mixer capable of rapid pulsatile mixing of two fluids, powered by a singular shared finger-powered pump.
Our finger-powered 3D printed microfluidic devices have established an alternative to conventional externally-
powered microfluidics, and upon further development, such designs could prove critical tools in resolving the
foremost commercial limitations of conventional microfluidic point-of-care diagnostic devices.

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     Last Updated: Thu 2016-Feb-04 18:38:38

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