Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Design methodology for microengineered fluid devices

The project focused on providing general approaches for the further exploitation of microengineered fluid devices across a broader range of applications encompassing both chemical microanalysis tools and surgical power transducers. In addition to providing a basic interfacing technology the project involved the design and development of generic fluidic demonstrators, the realisation of the component parts and the illustration of their potential by characterizing the resulting system performance. The project involved the design of fluid pumps, valve, flow sensors, turbines and conductivity sensors, in addition to the passive fluid interconnects and required development of the associated modelling software. The success of the design tool was illustrated in its successful analysis of bidirectional pumping action. Two main actuation methods, electrostatic and thermopneumatic, were successfully demonstrated in the pump designs with the electrostatic approach providing low power dissipation and fast response times while the lower efficiency thermopneumatic approach yielded a potentially more robust design. In parallel, flow sensors were developed covering a wide dynamic range by utilizing complementary drift-diffusion and time-of-flight approaches. A number of difficulties had to be overcome, in particular those concerned with the development of low stress joining techniques and procedures for priming of the whole system and maximizing yield in the multi-component demonstrator assemblies. In addition to this main demonstration, a secondary micro-turbine demonstrator was used to investigate the potential for microfluidic power tools in a high pressure microfluidic system. These systems also successfully demonstrated the use of a fluidic backplane as a particular means of interconnecting fluidic devices from difference sources.

Reported by

GEC-Marconi Materials Technology Ltd
Elstree Way
WD6 1RX Borehamwood
United Kingdom
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