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Development of a Magnetic Micropump
( Former project )

C. Yamahata, M.A.M. Gijs

Keywords: micropump, ferrofluid, electromagnet, powder blasting, check-valve, ball valve, diffuser, valveless, PMMA, glass, lab-on-a-chip

A 3D prototype of the plastic micropump. [36mm × 22 mm × 5 mm] without the connectors for tubings

Miniaturization of systems for biochemical analysis is of particular interest for the improved performance in terms of analysis time and sample throughput. Consequently, the development of many fluidic microchips requires the integration of mechanical elements such as check-valves or pumping devices.

The aim of this project is to develop a low cost micropump for microfluidic applications. The basic idea is to use
magnetic actuation. The project started with the use of a ferrofluidic plug to generate a magnetic pressure. This magnetic fluid is a colloidal suspension of nanosize ferromagnetic particles. Decane is used as the buffer solution between the water based ferrofluid and the liquid pumped. The ferrofluid we use is immiscible with decane. It is provided by the Powder Technology Laboratory of Prof. H. Hofmann (LTP, EPFL).

Last modified: May 19th, 2008