Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New nanojet microdispenser blitzes with micropoint accuracy

Among the many uses for mircodispensers, one such is that they are used for the analysis of biochemical substances in the human body. As such, they are required to have outstanding precision and speed. A German development now offers a nanojet microdispenser with an improved accuracy of volumes ranged within 1nl to 1,000nl.
New nanojet microdispenser blitzes with micropoint accuracy
With the sheer volume of tests most laboratories are required to undertake on an almost daily basis, speed is of the essence. Despite this, accuracy and validity of tests cannot be compromised as having to repeat the procedures would be time consuming and contribute to greater costs. So speed and reliability remain vital, and laboratory equipment is expected to perform to exceeding standards of both.

In order to attain this, the nanojet microdispenser developed is based on a hi-speed (and defined) mechanical displacement of liquids from a dosage chamber. The construction of which includes a silicon chip with the dosage chamber bound by a flexible diaphragm. The dosage chamber is connected to the reservoir and nozzle by a series of capillary channels. It is the capillary forces that provide the chip its self-priming capacity and liquid run-off or leakage is prevented by the surface tension of the liquid itself.

Many microdispensers rely on temperature and liquid properties in order to ensure correct dispensing volumes. This German development relies on neither and also offers the capacity to rapidly change dosing rates as well as a variety of various liquids in a non-contact manner. Much of the entire process, from dispensing to refilling is based on simple mechanical processes or forces. For example, the refilling of the dosage chamber occurs through the slow release of the diaphragm, which in turn is controlled by the piezostack actuator, driven by elastic forces.

A prototype nanojet model has already been developed, capable of dispensing liquids in the 10-250nl range. The developers are looking for licence and marketing agreements with interested parties and offer the prototype for demonstration.
Record Number: 81593 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Biology, Medicine