J. Mcfall, T. Huang, W. Lopez, A. Azad, P. Nath
Los Alamos National Lab,
Keywords: infusion pump droplet generator
Summary:Infusion pumps are an important medical device having applications in a wide range of treatments. Additionally, they are often used in laboratory experiments to address different types of pumping needs. Most current pumps for these applications require electricity and complex mechanical parts. We designed and characterized a new class of infusion pumps that are non-electronic, permanent magnet based, and use microfluidic channels to control flow 1 (Fig 1). The pump works through the coupling of two permanent magnets placed on opposite sides of a reservoir. One side of the reservoir is fabricated with a flexible membrane such that the attraction force between the magnets can push fluids in the reservoir though a microfluidic channel (Fig 2). The pumps were characterized based on how the flow rate profile was affected by the microfluidic channel depth as well as membrane thickness, hardness, and fatigue. Prototypes of the sensing platforms were fabricated using a laser based micro-patterning and lamination method2. To demonstrate proof of principle, the prototypes were built with a magnet diameter of 13.75 mm and a matching reservoir with 1.5 mm thickness, and a serpentine microfluidic channel. We also demonstrate a novel application by developing a credit-card size microfluidic droplet generator. Droplet generation typically requires a microfluidic chip and 2 syringe pumps. Using the permanent magnet based microfluidic infusion pump, all necessary components were integrated onto a custom microfluidic chip reducing the set up from an entire bench top to the size of a credit card. We have demonstrated that a simple, low-cost, infusion pump has the ability to pump fluids without the use of electricity. We envision great potential for a new method of integrating these pumps into microfluidic droplet generators.